Saturday, February 28, 2015

Buffallo Soldiers

 
The big reason I love History, and the reason I am a History teacher is because of Grandpa.  He was a college History professor for many years.  Growing up he would always discuss History with us, and it must have stuck.  I love HISTORY!!!  I am so proud to post that my grandfather is the author of this book above.  He was inspired by this subjuect matter because he served in one of the last all black infantries during the Korean War.  This was before they desegragated the US Military.  Of course he served as a white officier, but he saw first hand how they were treated by the US and civilians.  So when he was done with his duty, he went back for his Phd.  He had to write about something, and he had the perfect topic!  Here is a review of his book:

The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891, by Arlen L. Fowler, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1996, $12.95 paperback.
Arlen Fowler's interest in the "buffalo soldiers" grew out of his 1952 assignment as a white officer in the 25th Armored Infantry Battalion, the last remnant of the all black 25th Infantry Regiment. Fowler became a firsthand witness to the prejudices and outright discrimination that still existed; his research showed that such attitudes and practices could be traced back to the organization of the first six black regiments (two cavalry and four infantry) between the summers of 1866 and 1867.
 
Fowler meticulously documents the black infantry's service through military records, personal letters and newspaper accounts from the 1860s through 1890s. Black regiments served in the harshest environments, fought Indians throughout the West and drew the most monotonous duties. Even so, their alcoholism and desertion rates ranked among the lowest. (At times white truancy reached 20 to 50 percent higher than black truancy.) Commanders, reporters and other eyewitnesses noted the black units' valor in battle, but most officers continued to consider it a blot on their record to serve with blacks or took a lower rank in order to serve in a white outfit, George Armstrong Custer among them.
 
This book offers fascinating insights into the struggles and pride of the black regiments. As William H. Leckie, author of The Buffalo Soldiers, states in the new foreword to this 1996 edition (hardcover edition printed by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1971), "Fowler's book is still essential reading for a comprehensive understanding of the role of the black infantry on the expanding western frontier."
Sierra Adare

Taken from: http://www.historynet.com/book-review-the-black-infantry-in-the-west-arlen-l-fowler-ww.htm

Monday, February 16, 2015

Red Tails

 
A great movie about African American History is Red Tails.  It is a movie about the Tuskegee Airmen during WW2.  They were African American fighter pilots who wanted to fight for the country.  Even though they were treated like 2nd class citizens - they wanted to fight for America and the idea of freedom.
 
The real Tuskegee Airmen
 
This movie is emotional and action packed!  You really see their struggle.  They had to prove themselves, and that is sad to me!  What a lesson to learn - patience and perseverance!  One of the most amazing facts about this movie is how it was made.  George Lucas creator of Star Wars heard the story about the Tuskegee Airmen, and had to tell their story.  For years he tried to get a green light, but every movie studio told him no.  So he funded it himself - $100 million!!!!  He believed in the story so much!  What he created was outstanding!
 
 
 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Political Courage

 
After my parents saw this we got into such a great discussion about the film!  I love that about my family!  We always have the BEST discussions!  What really stood out to me was what my Dad said about the film.  He talked about how the film was about Political Courage.  From President Johnson to Dr. King to the people in the march.
 
President Johnson
 
President Johnson was the President at the time of the Selma march.  He was aware of the situation, and was in constant communication with Dr. King.  They would discuss the Civil Rights Movement, and what needed to happen.  But as we know change is hard.  No politician wanted to tackle the issue.  There is a scene in the movie where President Johnson tells Dr. King you have one issue - I have 101.  President Johnson had to deal with the whole country, and honestly at this time it would be political suicide to tackle the issue of the Civil Rights and voting.
 
 
Finally he does because of what happened on that bridge in Selma.  It woke up the country!  Americans were horrified at what they saw!  That moment gave President Johnson the political courage to push and sign the Voting Rights Act of 1968.  I love the scene in the  movie when the President is talking to Governor George Wallace of Alabama, and they talk about how history will remember them.  Governor Wallace said he did not care.  The President then said we are different because I do care! 
 
President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1968
 
 
 
 

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