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Buffalo Soldiers and Other African Americans in our Nation's Defense
The African-American Soldier : From Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell
by Michael Lee Lanning
Hardcover - 288 pages (June 1997)
Birch Lane Press
From Booklist: Lanning, an experienced military writer and retired army officer, provides a good overview of African Americans' military service to their country, a service that started with the American Revolution. Leaving the reader to learn the social and political background from the books listed in the bibliography, he offers a primarily narrative history, and an excellent one, even when it recounts events that make the blood boil. But it has some compensatory pleasant surprises in it, too, such as the comparatively rapid and painless integration of the Marine Corps during the Korean conflict. Overall, it may offer little to seasoned students of African American or military history, yet it is an invaluable resource for those with limited knowledge and a slightly whitewashed (so to speak) view of U.S. military history. What is now needed to finish curing such racial myopia is comparable volumes on other ethnic minorities in uniform, starting with Latinos and Native Americans. Roland Green
Red Tails, Black Wings
by John B. Holway
Yucca Tree Press Baseball aficionados know John B. Holway as author of books about the Negro Leagues that rescued from obscurity many of the great black players who could not play in the segregated ranks of major league baseball. Here, Holway sets his sights on another group of heroes: the men of the "Tuskegee experiment"--the effort to train black pilots during World War II. Many white officers believed the experiment would be a failure because blacks did not have the skills necessary to become pilots. But the Tuskegee Airmen proved them wrong, and black pilots--in particular those of the 332nd Squadron (the Red Tails of the title)--established stellar records in combat. Holway quotes copiously from his interviews with black airmen, and the result is a stunning record of the heroism of black men in all but impossible circumstances
Black & White Together: Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth Calvary, 1867-1898
by Charles L. Kenner
Hardcover - 384 pages (October 1999)
University of Oklahoma Press
Reviewer: Zuwena Packer from San Mateo, CA: Kenner's book is an excellent narrative which chronicles the actual experiences of the buffalo soldiers and the white officers who served with them. The book is a pleasure to read because it goes beyond the dates and battles, opting instead to recreate their foibles and shortcomings as well as their valor and heroism. It takes a true historian to give the rest of us glimpses into such humanity
Into the Tiger's Jaw : America's First Black Marine Aviator - The Autobiography of Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen
by Frank E. Petersen, J. Alfred Phelps (Contributor)
Hardcover - 416 pages (October 1998)
Presidio Press
From Booklist October 15, 1998: Petersen joined the navy at 18 in 1950 and managed to be selected for flight training. Although the armed services were, technically, integrated in 1948, he spent most of his time, it seems, fighting genteel and not-so-genteel opposition from whites who, in words like those we hear now about women in the military, claimed that the armed forces were being sacrificed for the sake of the "social experiment" of fully incorporating someone besides white males. He persevered, surviving two wars (against foreign enemies, that is), thousands of hours in cockpits, hate mail that has to be read to be believed (and then, one doesn't like to), a divorce, and many other challenges. He retired as the senior marine aviator, the "Silver Eagle," and the first black marine general. It would be hard to imagine a man who has deserved better of his country, and without his story, there would be formidable gaps in several areas of American history. Roland Green
The Unknown Soldiers: African American Troops in World War I
by Arthur E. Barbeau and Florette Henri
Paperback. Published by DeCapo Press 1996
During World War I 370,000 African Americans labored, fought, and died to make the world safe a democracy that refused them equal citizenship at home. The irony was made more bitter as black troops struggled with the racist policies of the American military itself. The overwhelming majority were assigned to labor companies; those selected for combat were undertrained, poorly equipped, and commanded by white officers who insisted on black inferiority. Still, African Americans performed admirably under fire: the 369th Infantry Regiment was in continuous combat longer than any other American unit, and was the first Allied regiment to cross the Rhine in the offensive against Germany. The Unknown Soldiers, the only full-scale examination of the subject chronicles the rigid segregation; the limited opportunities for advancement, the inadequate food, medical attention, housing, and clothing, the verbal harassment and physical abuse, including lynchings; the ingratitude, unemployment, and unprecedented racial violence that greeted their return. The Unknown Soldiers is an unforgettable, searing study of those wartime experiences that forced African Americans to realize that equality and justice could never be earned in Jim Crow America, but only wrested from its strangling grip.
Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West
by William H. Leckie
Paperback. University of Oklahoma Press. 1985
A history of the African American 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments during the post-Civil War period
My American Journey: An Autobiography
by General Colin L. Powell with Joseph E. Persico
Hardcover. Published by Random House. 1995
Politics and Current Events Editor's Recommended Book:General Powell may have undertaken this book as a form of paid political test marketing, but it turns out to be a success of an altogether different kind. We don't learn from this book if Powell is presidential material, but his recounting of the various steps of his career give us an unrivaled view of the ins and outs of military bureaucracy and shows how the modern American military, with its consistent emphasis on can-do attitudes and actual results, is a much more congenial place for realizing one's talents than our still-alarmingly pigeonholing general society.
The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers
by Paul Stillwell
Paperback. Berkley Publishing Group. 1994
In 1944, 13 men--known as the Golden Thirteen--made history when they became the U.S. Navy's first African American officers on active duty. Now this courageous group recalls how each fought prejudice to become pioneers in military history--and role models for all African Americans. Photographs. A New York Times "Notable Book" of 1993.

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