Tag: black soldiers

Scholarship Fund Established for Children of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson

Sgt. La David Johnson (Photo: Department of Defense)

by David J. Neal via miamiherald.com

The death of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, FL, one of four soldiers killed Oct. 4 by ambush in Niger, wasn’t just another tragedy involving a constituent to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. So, she and her 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program decided to do something for Johnson’s survivors.

Wilson knew Johnson, his parents, his two kids and wife Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant with their third child. Johnson hadn’t just gone through the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence program Wilson founded in 1993, he’d been a leader among leaders. Johnson’s cousins went into the program also, saying they were followed his example. Wilson couldn’t help but recognize the numeric parallel of Johnson being killed at 25 early in the program’s 25th school year. “He was a true role model,” Wilson said of the young man known as Wheelie King for his bicycle tricks before he enrolled in the Army.

While part of an advisory group in Niger, Johnson didn’t make it out of an attack the Department of Defense blames on The Islamic State. ISIS increasingly teams up with fellow extremist Islamic group Boko Haram, the terrorists in Wilson’s prime international cause, the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria. So, the 5,000 Role Models of Excllence program has established Role Model Army Sgt. La David Johnson Scholarship to ensure Johnson’s three children will have money for college.

A gofundme page has been set up for those who wish to contribute.

Source: Scholarship fund for kids of Sgt. La David Johnson, killed in Niger | Miami Herald

ASU History Professor Matthew Delmont Wins Guggenheim Fellowship to Study African Americans’ Views on World War II

ASU Professor Matt Delmont (photo via twitter.com)

via jbhe.com

Matthew Delmont, a professor of history and Director of the School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies at Arizona State University, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship that will allow him to conduct research on how African American viewed World War II at the time the war was being waged.

“African-Americans rallied around something called the ‘double-victory campaign,’ which meant victory over fascism abroad and victory over racism at home,” Professor Delmont said. “There was a great amount of hope that by proving their patriotism, by proving their service to the country in World War II, things would be different once they got home. In a lot of cases, that didn’t happen.” Dr. Delmont will conduct interviews but he notes that “Black newspapers will be one of the main sources. They had war correspondents embedded in Europe and Asia, and they were dodging enemy fire to bring these stories to the communities in the U.S.”

Professor Delmont is the author of several books including Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (University of California Press, 2016) and The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (University of California Press, 2012). The tentative title for the book that he hopes will come from this research is To Live Half American: African Americans at Home and Abroad During World War II.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Professor Delmont is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American studies at Brown University. He joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 2014 after teaching for six years at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Source: Arizona State Historian Wins Fellowship to Study African Americans’ Views on World War II : The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Brigadier General Donna Martin Becomes 1st Black Female Commandant of U.S. Army Military Police School

Brigadier General Donna Martin (photo via KSPR News)

by Lexi Spivak via kspr.com

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (KSPR) – Brigadier General Donna Martin recently became the first African American female ever to serve as commandant of the U.S. Army Military Police School. In a ceremony on Friday, July 14, Martin’s title was made official as Brigadier General Kevin Vereen relinquished commandancy.

Brig. Gen. Martin described herself as a quiet, small town girl from Virginia. She stayed in Virginia to attend college at Old Dominion University until she was sent on her first assignment with the U.S. Army in Germany. She said she didn’t know if she was going to take the military route at the start of college, but a group of ROTC members made her feel at home. “They were really a group of kids who were just like me,” said Brig. Gen. Martin. “We all had common goals, we all had this feeling to serve and be apart of something that was bigger than ourselves.”

Martin said that’s where her love for the Army started nearly 30 years ago. “It never gets old… Every single assignment, every single move is a new adventure and I’m having a blast.” She called her new role one of the most important roles she has ever taken. She remembered the first time meeting her commandant at Fort McClellan in Alabama, where the U.S. Army Military Police School was before moving to Fort Leonard Wood. “I don’t know that I ever aspired to be the commandant, but I always looked up to this position,” she said. She described how the commandant would share his thoughts about the future and said ” we all bought it.” She said they all thought those conversations were amazing. “For me, 25 or 26 years later now to be assuming that role, it’s still kind of surreal.”

As for taking on this new role, she said she is excited to be apart of the team in Fort Leonard Wood. KSPR News asked what advice she had for anyone who finds her inspiring or looks to her for strength. She said it pretty simply, “You have to be determined, set a goal, and just work hard.”

To read and see more, go to: Historic Day at Fort Leonard Wood

General Nathaniel James, 79, Dedicates Life to Raising Profile of WWI Heroes, The Harlem Hellfighters

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James in front of a mural dedicated to the 369th Regiment. To General James, who joined the New York Army National Guard at 17, his most important job has been promoting the Harlem Hellfighters. (OZIER MUHAMMAD / THE NEW YORK TIMES)

By the beginning of September, the corner office on the second floor of the 369th Regiment Armory in Harlem was nearly empty. Squares of dust outlined where framed pictures once hung. Only a desk remained, with Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James, 79, sitting behind it.

General James has considered the armory at 142nd Street and Fifth Avenue his second home for more than 60 years.  Before he retired, his military career in the New York Army National Guard had spanned from private, corporal, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, major and lieutenant colonel. To him, though, his most important job had been as president of the Harlem Hellfighters Historical Society.

Now, the armory, built in 1933, is being closed for renovations. Its occupants have had to find temporary space elsewhere. General James and everything belonging to the historical society had to be out by Wednesday.

In 1959, General James learned about a room in the armory where artifacts of the Harlem Hellfighters — a black unit that fought under French command in World War I — were gathering dust. He put the items on display every New Year’s Day for a few hours.

“We cleaned everything and had an open house for everybody in the unit,” he said.  “When I joined there was no written history,” said General James, who joined the New York Army National Guard when he was 17.

General James’s family moved north in 1939, fleeing racism in Branchville, S.C., where he was born.  “My family moved to Harlem and we’ve never left,” General James said. He married and had four children, who called him General instead of Dad.

“We got up in the mornings to work out with him, and we made sure we got up early enough to get to school on time,” said one of his sons, Nathaniel James Jr., 52. “O dark thirty is O dark thirty, no exceptions,” he added.

General James decided that the Hellfighters artifacts should be more widely seen, and the history of black soldiers should be more widely known, after watching a biographical movie about Gen. George S. Patton, which, he noticed, made no mention of a black unit that he knew had been under Patton’s command.

And his children, he said, were noticing gaps in what they were taught at school. “They started seeing history wasn’t proper,” he said.

Mr. James remembers looking in his history books for the stories of the black soldiers his father had told him about. He could not find much.  “I asked my teacher about it, and she said the only history they have is about the Buffalo Soldiers,” he said.

Members of the James family decided to take matters into their own hands.  General James’s sons held parties in the mess hall and in the auditorium of the armory, taking donations. The general’s wife, Mary, and his daughter, Rosalyn, organized dinners, fashion shows and Mother’s Day events.  “We used to D.J. when they had parties here,” said Courtney Dixon, 52, a neighbor.

Continue reading “General Nathaniel James, 79, Dedicates Life to Raising Profile of WWI Heroes, The Harlem Hellfighters”

‘Black Bodies In Propaganda: The Art Of The War Poster’, PBS TV Host Tukufu Zuberi’s Black War Posters Focus of US Exhibit

In this Thursday, May 30, 2013 photo, University of Pennsylvania professor and PBS History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi speaks about an Italian 1942 broadside matted on canvas by Gino Boccasile during an interview with The Associated Press at the Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster exhibit at the Penn Museum, in Philadelphia. The new museum exhibition presents 33 posters owned by Zuberi that were designed to mobilize Africans and African-Americans in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this Thursday, May 30, 2013 photo, University of Pennsylvania professor and PBS History Detectives host Tukufu Zuberi speaks about an Italian 1942 broadside matted on canvas by Gino Boccasile during an interview with The Associated Press at the Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster exhibit at the Penn Museum, in Philadelphia. The new museum exhibition presents 33 posters owned by Zuberi that were designed to mobilize Africans and African-Americans in war efforts, even as they faced oppression and injustice in their homelands. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A new exhibit created by a University of Pennsylvania professor and host of a popular public television show examines how wartime propaganda has been used to motivate oppressed populations to risk their lives for homelands that considered them second-class citizens.

“Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster,” opens Sunday and continues until March 2 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Lectures, film screenings and other programming will be rolled out over the course of the exhibit’s run.

The exhibit’s 33 posters, dating from the American Civil War to both World Wars and the African independence movements, are part of the personal collection of Tukufu Zuberi, Penn professor of sociology and African studies and a host of the Public Broadcasting Service series “History Detectives.”

Zuberi began his collection in 2005 and owns 48 posters in all. There are five he’s seeking to complete his collection, but he’s not divulging any specifics. “Oh, I don’t want to go there,” he said with a laugh. “If I say anything, then there’s going to be someone out there with more money and I won’t be able to buy anything again.”

Continue reading “‘Black Bodies In Propaganda: The Art Of The War Poster’, PBS TV Host Tukufu Zuberi’s Black War Posters Focus of US Exhibit”

‘African Americans in World War II’ Exhibit opens at Museum in Michigan

WWII African american exhib.jpg
Howard Lynch and Zack Skiles look at photographs at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s exhibit “African Americans in World War II”Nicholas Grenke | MLive

KALAMAZOO, MI – A mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters  of Greater Kalamazoo pointed to a black and white photograph of U.S. Army General George S. Patton pinning a Silver Star Medal on an African American soldier during World War II.

“Thank God you’ll never have to see a war like that,” Howard Lynch said to the Little Brother he mentors, Zack Skiles.

The “African Americans in World War II” exhibit at theKalamazoo Valley Museum opened on January 12, displaying 40 photographs of how life was for men and women during the most widespread war in human history.

“It’s interesting we’re finally starting to feature African Americans in military history,” Lynch said. “It’s nice to see them get their day in the sun.”

The exhibit on the first floor gallery is on loan from The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. On the walls are photographs of famous soldiers such as heavyweight boxer Joe Louis and Benjamin O. Davis, the first African American General Officer in military history, and also unknown privates engaging in everyday military life.

Continue reading “‘African Americans in World War II’ Exhibit opens at Museum in Michigan”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: