Black Vets Reflect on Desegregation; Racism Was in Civilian Life, but Opportunities in the Military Were Plenty
Brumley, Jeff, The Florida Times Union
Byline: JEFF BRUMLEY
Few are likely more grateful to Harry S. Truman for desegregating the military - 60 years ago today - than James Tippins.
Tippins joined the Marine Corps in 1953 in search of solid job training and money for college. His plan was to serve just one hitch.
But things didn't quite work out that way.
As his three-year enlistment drew to a close, and not long after returning from the war in Korea, Tippins took his military electronics and communications training to Jacksonville, where he applied for a job with a telephone company.
"I will always remember this," he said. "The supervisor said, 'You probably are more qualified than most of the people working here, but I can only put a broom in your hands.' "
Tippins was astounded.
"I was a sergeant in the Marine Corps, and I didn't want no broom in my hand," the 73-year-old Northwest Jacksonville resident said. "So I didn't …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Black Vets Reflect on Desegregation; Racism Was in Civilian Life, but Opportunities in the Military Were Plenty. Contributors: Brumley, Jeff - Author. Newspaper title: The Florida Times Union. Publication date: July 26, 2008. Page number: Not available. © 2007 The Florida Times-Union. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.