Search Penny Hill Press

Friday, March 29, 2013

African Americans and the United States Military

In an era where Barack Obama serves as the Commander-in-Chief and the military is one of the most racially integrated institutions in American society, it is worth considering as one reads Defiance that things were not always so. The two epigraphs of this essay serve as bookends to the history of African Americans in relation to American patriotism and the nation’s armed forces from the Revolution through the Vietnam era. Phyllis Wheatley, the literate slave of a prominent Boston family, offered poetic support for American grievances against the colonial regime of taxation using her own actual state of enslavement as a way of proving her right to protest against a fiscal regime that many Bostonians and others referred to as metaphorical slavery. This condition of being both a patriot and, in many cases, at best a second-class citizen marks the experience of many African Americans in uniform until the integration of US armed forces under President Truman. The quotation from Private Allen Jones serves as a reminder that even after integration and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, life in an officially colorblind military (or country, for that matter) did not and does not guarantee equable treatment before the law, whether that law is civil or the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Date of Report: March 21, 2013
Number of Pages: 18
Order Number: G1317
Price: $5.95

To Order:

G1317.pdf  to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


Phone 301-253-0881

For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.