BLACK & BRAVE: The Black Soldier in America by Otto Lindenmeyer

BLACK & BRAVE: The Black Soldier in America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From an editor of Negro Almanac and series consultant for CBS-TV's ""Of Black America,"" an extensive record of black participation in military action which is also a chronicle of the treatment accorded blacks as a group and their efforts to secure equality in enlistment and service. After Crispus Attucks had fallen in the ""Boston Massacre"" and at least nine blacks had stood at Concord, ""patterns of exclusion"" developed; the British countered by promising freedom to enlistees, which, with worsening circumstances, forced the Americans to welcome first free blacks, then slaves. As many recognized, winning the war was not to advance their freedom. In the War of 1812 black seamen initially scorned by Perry, served ably in the Battle of Lake Erie; encouraged by Jackson to form a separate contingent, blacks distinguished themselves also in the Battle of New Orleans. Thereafter, however, they were excluded from the armed forces until the Civil War. This pattern -- wartime potency, peacetime dismissal -- persisted until Truman's post-WWII order desegregating the services. There had of course been significant participation by black regiments in the Civil War, and the permanent units established subsequently had fought the Indians, the Spanish and the Germans and their allies; but acceptance did not come (Pearl Harbor hero Dorrie Miller died a messman) until integration struck at the practice of subservient assignments. Now -- Vietnam -- the question is of equal opportunities for advancement, of unequal opportunities to die or opt out (Mohammad Ali). Throughout many singular feats are noted, and so many individual names that librarians may want to check the index for local heroes. Black & Brave is both programmatic and personal.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: McGraw-Hill