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Soldiers' Stories | Black Soldiers: Other Services


Other Services

(Click here for a printable PDF of full bibliography with embedded links)

Gilliam, G. S. (1997). Standing alone. Marines, 26(9), 4. Available via eJournal subscription

Profiles Frederick C. Branch as the first black commissioned officer in the US Marine Corps. Educational attainment; Promotion to the rank of captain before retiring; Career as a teacher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Goldberg, Dan C. (2020) The golden thirteen: how Black men won the right to wear Navy gold. Available in print

Until 1942, black men in the Navy could hold jobs only as cleaners and cooks. The Navy reluctantly decided to select the first black men to undergo officer training in 1944, after enormous pressure from ordinary citizens and civil rights leaders. These men, segregated and sworn to secrecy, ultimately passed their exams with the highest average of any class in Navy history. In March 1944, these sailors became officers, the first black men to wear the gold stripes. Goldberg shows that, even though white men refused to salute them, refused to eat at their table, and refused to accept that black men could be superior to them in rank, the Golden Thirteen persevered, determined to hold their heads high and set an example that would inspire generations to come.

History Channel. (2008) A fighting force: African Americans in the military. Video. Available on DVD

From America's birth by fire in the Revolution to the sands of Iraq, black warriors have fought and died for our nation. Long before they were recognized as citizens, much less equals, African Americans sacrificed their lives for a society from which they were largely excluded. This collection brings together five documentaries: 1. Black Aviators: Flying Free, 2. A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day, 3. Honor Deferred, 4. America's Black Warriors: Two Wars to Win, 5. First to Fight: The Black Tankers of WWII.

Johnson, Jesse J. (1974) Black women in the Armed Forces 1942-1974: a pictorial history. Available in print

This photograph-rich book includes coverage of Black women in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Nurses, Chaplains, Military family members and more.

Scott, Emmett Jay. (1919) Scott's official history of the American Negro in the world war (classic reprint). Available in print

Author Emmett J Scott was the highest-ranking African-American in President Woodrow Wilson's administration. From the book: “It is because of the immensely valuable contribution made by Negro soldiers, sailors, and civilians toward the winning of the great World War that this volume has been prepared,-in order that there may be an authentic record, not only of the military exploits of this particular racial group of Americans, but of the diversified and valuable contributions made by them as patriotic civilians.”

Walton, Ben L. (2012) Great Black war fighters: profiles in service. Available in print

This book details the biographies of 29 Black flag officers from Army Generals such as retired LTG Russel L. Honoré, as well as Navy Admirals, and Marine Corps and Air Force Generals.

Wright, Kai. (2002) Soldiers of freedom: an illustrated history of African Americans in the Armed Forces. Available in print

Spanning from the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, this comprehensive history covers the full scope of African Americans' involvement in the armed forces during war and peacetime. Accompanying this text are 300 photographs and illustrations. Highlights include: accounts of the Rhode Island 1st Regiment, the first all-black regiment in the U.S. Army, and portraits of famous and lesser-known soldiers, including Crispus Attucks, Salem Poor, John Brown, Sergeant William Carney, Doric Miller and Colin Powell.

Xenon Pictures, Inc. (2002) Nightfighters: the true story of the 332nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegee Airmen. Video. Available in DVD

The 332nd Fighter group has a unique place in the annals of WWII air force fighter groups. The group was completely Black and confounded the expectations and prejudices held by white Americans in the 1930's and 1940's, excelling as pilots and becoming a crack unit, accomplishing goals others couldn't. Includes interviews with Alfred Anderson, Lee Archer, and Roscoe Brown.