Academic journal article Military Review

BLACK CADET IN A WHITE BASTION: Charles Young at West Point

Academic journal article Military Review

BLACK CADET IN A WHITE BASTION: Charles Young at West Point

Article excerpt

BLACK CADET IN A WHITE BASTION: Charles Young at West Point, Brian Shellum, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2006, 175 pages, $16.95.

On the second floor of the Combined Arms Research Library is a special meeting site: the Charles Young Room. Near the door to the room is a framed photograph of the room's namesake along with a brief description of his achievements. The picture shows an African-American man, perhaps in his 30's, dressed in a U.S. Army uniform of the early 20th century. The inscription tells us he was the third black graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, the senior black officer in World War I, and the first black U.S. military attaché. For most who pass by the picture, that information is likely to be as much as they want to know about this relatively obscure man from the Army's past. That is unfortunate, for the story of Charles Young is an inspiring one of courage and victory against long odds.

Defense Intelligence Agency historian Brian Shellum undertakes the project of recounting Young's remarkable life. Black Cadet in a White Bastion is the first in a series of books Shellum plans to write toward that end. …

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