Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

Synopsis

Uses the historical role of blacks in the military to explore their struggle for racial equality on and off the battlefield.

Excerpt

Whether in Africa, India, Europe, or the Americas, blacks have always played a major role in the white man's explorations and conflicts. Black Soldiers, White Wars is an overview of the use of these men of dark skin in colonial European armies and in the United States. Usually against the wishes of the white population and, many times, military leaders, nations were forced repeatedly to incorporate the black man into their military institutions when white males were in short supply. Seldom were the blacks welcome, nor did they receive equal treatment with whites. Within the scope of this book, a definitive examination is not possible regarding the way each branch of the service utilized blacks. Chapters deal chiefly with army methods of utilization, although the navy, marines, and air force are occasionally mentioned.

Throughout history, as is the case today, blacks have found both advantages and disadvantages to military service. This book provides some historical insight into the military service as a major means of social and economic mobility for blacks and explores the development of black equality from segregated noncombat roles to full membership in combat units. Also discussed is the accusation of disproportionate representation of blacks in Vietnam and recent charges of continuing discrimination, even as the military emphasizes its policy of [zero tolerance.]

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