After centuries in the ranks, a first
February 22, 2021
Our main website image this week reflects upon retired General Lloyd J. Austin’s appointment as the United States’ first Black defense secretary, situated alongside the lives and experiences of Black military personnel throughout U.S. history.
Where to read more
The following selections are available as full texts online through the library. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Use Library Search to find more items.
- The Counter-Revolution of 1776 : Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, by Gerald Horne
- A History of the Fifty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Colored Infantry of the Civil War, by George H. Junne
- Black and Brown: African Americans and the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920, by Gerald Horne
- Black Indians : A Hidden Heritage, by William Loren Katz
- Torchbearers of Democracy : African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, by Chad L. Williams
- Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality, by Jeffrey Sammons and John H. Morrow, Jr.
- "African Americans in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive," by Chad L. Williams, from A Companion to the Meuse Argonne Campaign
- Nursing Civil Rights: Gender and Race in the Army Nurse Corps, by Charissa Threat
- Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle against White Supremacy in the Postwar South, by Christopher S. Parker
- Glory in their Spirit: How Four Black Women took on the Army during World War II, by Sandra M. Bolzenius
- World War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy, by Steven White
- “Exploding Hitler and Americanizing Germany: Occupying ‘Black’ Bodies and Postwar Desire,” by Damani Partridge, from Germans and African Americans: Two Centuries of Exchange
- We Made History: Collective Memory and the Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, by Andrea G. Hunter and Alethea Rollins, from the Journal of Social Issues
- The Untold Story of the Black Marines Charged with Mutiny at Sea, by John Ismay, The New York Times online. Full text via Proquest.
- Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019, edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain
- To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans by Robin D. G. Kelley and Earl Lewis
- The Right to Fight: A History of African-Americans in the Military, by Gerald Astor
- African-Americans are Highly Visible in the Military, but Almost Invisible at the Top, by Helene Cooper, The New York Times online. Full text via Proquest.
Connect with a library specialist
Our subject specialists can connect you with related resources, services, and more.
See also the U.S. history research guide.
Other resources of note
Of the many related journals, databases, and more you can explore in Library Search and other online university resources, we’re recommending the following this week:
- Black Thought and Culture: You can use subject listings such as “armed forces,” “veterans,” and “African-American soldiers” to browse the database
- Journal of African American History: The oldest and leading journal devoted to scholarship on African American history, edited by Dr. Pero Dagbovie
- In Service for our Citizenship: Black Civil War Soldiers: An online exhibit from the Clements Library
- Black Freedom Struggle in the United States: Primary source documents with Civil War and WWII sections
- The HistoryMakers oral history archive (videos with transcripts), choose filter category “MilitaryMaker”
About our website images
This month, we’re reflecting on the significance of contemporary Black leaders in the United States alongside the work of the people who came before them, and their fight for equitable representation and justice.
Previous images this month:
- The Tougaloo Nine and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden
- NAACP youth delegates from 1929 and Colin Kapernick
- Charlotta Spears Bass and Vice President Kamala Harris
by Emily Buckler