Cover image for Soldiers of freedom : an illustrated history of African Americans in the Armed Forces
Title:
Soldiers of freedom : an illustrated history of African Americans in the Armed Forces
Author:
Wright, Kai.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Black Dog & Leventhal, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
ix, 294 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Choosing sides: the Revolutionary War era -- Wars of a young nation: slave uprisings and the War of 1812 -- "If we make him a soldier, we concede the whole question": the Civil War -- Buffalo Soldiers: westward expansion and empire building -- Soldiers in search of an army: the World War I era -- "Eleanor's niggers": World War II -- "The highest standards of democracy": Korea and the Cold War -- "I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong": Vietnam and its aftermath -- A new beginning: the modern military.
ISBN:
9781579122539
Format :
Book

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UB418.A47 W75 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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UB418.A47 W75 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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UB418.A47 W75 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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UB418.A47 W75 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Spanning from the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, this long-overdue, comprehensive history covers the full scope of African Americans' involvement in the armed forces during war and peacetime. Accompanying the informative text are 300 photographs and illustrations, most of them rare, some never before published.

Highlights include accounts of:

- The Rhode Island 1st Regiment, the first all-black regiment in the U.S. Army.

- The New Orleans Battalion of Free Men of Color.

- The Battle for Richmond, which resulted in the largest loss of black life in the Civil War.

- The 1863 New York City Draft Riot.

- The 1919 lynchings of black war vets.

- The Navy's reluctant integration during World War II.

- The dramatic story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

- The war against terrorism in Afghanistan, and much more.

The book also features portraits of famous and lesser-known soldiers, including Crispus Attucks, Salem Poor, John Brown, Sergeant William Carney, Dorie Miller and Colin Powell. This dramatic visual history is a moving tribute to the essential and often unsung contributions of African-American soldiers through every generation. AUTHORBIO: KAI WRIGHT is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. His work on social and political issues relevant to communities of color around the world has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice and The Progressive, among other publications. He is the author of The African-American Archive: The History of the Black Experience Through documents.


Author Notes

Kai Wright is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. His work on social and political issues relevant to communities of color around the world has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Village Voice, and the Progressive, among other publications


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Wright offers a compelling look at the contributions African Americans have made to military engagements from the American Revolution through the Vietnam War up to the current war on terrorism, with a wealth of photographs and illustrations highlighting the changes in the image and involvement of black soldiers and sailors. Although the participation of blacks in early conflicts was as much about procuring their own freedom as serving the nation, accounts and illustrations denied and de-emphasized their participation or relegated them primarily to roles as servants and slaves. African Americans also battled against an image of cowardice, bans on blacks in the military, and gross discrimination within the military and society at large, to finally achieve wide participation and grudging recognition. Wright sets the record straight with illustrations and accounts, from Salem Poor pictured in the famous 1786 painting Battle of Bunker Hill through photos of the Tuskegee Airmen and Colin Powell. Readers interested in African American and military history will appreciate this well-documented and -illustrated resource. --Vanessa Bush


Library Journal Review

Offering homage to African Americans who have shouldered arms in defense of the United States from its War of Independence (1775-83) to the advent of the war on terrorism in 2001, freelance journalist Wright profiles the precarious balance historically maintained by blacks in the U.S. military. Using primarily military photos from the National Archives and the Library of Congress, Wright depicts African Americans' range of service, from the routine to the heroic, as they fought a two-front war: from within against America's bigoted practices and from without for America's birthright principles. The images more than the text articulate the saga of the military as the front line of the nation's race war as blacks, ambivalent about being simultaneously rebuffed and desperately encouraged to serve, risked their lives to assert their humanity and enjoy full citizenship in their unwavering defense of the United States. This story complements works such as Gail Lumet Buckley's American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm. For collections on blacks and the military. Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introductionp. vii
1. Choosing Sides: The Revolutionary War Erap. 1
2. Wars of a Young Nation: Slave Uprisings and the War of 1812p. 31
3. "If We Make Him a Soldier, We Concede the Whole Question" The Civil Warp. 55
4. Buffalo Soldiers: Westward Expansion and Empire Buildingp. 93
5. Soldiers in Search of an Army: The World War I Erap. 121
6. "Eleanor's Niggers" World War IIp. 153
7. "The Highest Standards of Democracy" Korea and the Cold Warp. 195
8. "I Ain't Got No Quarrel with Them Vietcong" Vietnam and Its Aftermathp. 225
9. A New Beginning: The Modern Militaryp. 255
Bibliographyp. 289
Photo Creditsp. 290
Indexp. 291