Did you know? The way Black veterans have largely been treated has been the subject of much scrutiny since Crispus Attucks became the first American casualty of the Revolutionary War.
During the War of 1812, Black soldiers helped defeat the British in New Orleans. By the end of the Civil War, 10 percent of the union forces were Black. The 54th regiment, which was an all-Black fighting unit, was immortalized in the movie “Glory” and fought a number of important battles, eventually losing more than half of its troops. Two of Frederick Douglass’ sons also fought in the Civil War and Harriet Tubman severed as a scout for the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers.
During World War I, Black soldiers were given full citizenship, although they still fought in segregated units. Many credit Black soldiers for bringing jazz music to Europe and France.
In World War II, Black soldiers had an increased presence. The NAACP pushed for the War Department to form the all-Black 99th Pursuit Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Corps, otherwise known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the only U.S. unit to ever sink a German destroyer. Like the 54th Regiment, the Tuskegee Airmen were immortalized in a movie of the same name.
Let’s not forget the critical importance and sacrifices of all our American soldiers.
Author: Wright, Bruce C. T., “Fighting Foreign Wars For America”, Newsone, Nov. 2020, www.newsone.com/playlist/memorial-day-black-soldiers-pictures-photos/