African American History

The Jayhawker and the Conductor: The Combahee Ferry Raid, 2 June 1863

By James Stejskal NOTE:  This article contains excerpts from contemporary official Union and Confederate reports that include racial epithets. Additional eyewitness accounts employ local “dialect” that may or may not have been accurately rendered by the recorder. It was dark as three Union Army steamboats left St. Helena Sound off the coast of South Carolina …

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6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

Written By: Kevin M. Hymel The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was a unique U.S. Army unit and it had the distinction of being the only all-African American, all-female unit sent overseas during World War II.  The women kept mail flowing to nearly seven million soldiers in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Almost immediately …

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Executive Order 9981: Integration of the Armed Forces

By Patrick Feng The United States military of the present-day is comprised of servicemen and women of diverse social and racial backgrounds; all are dedicated to one common purpose: the defense of their country and its citizens. White, Black, Latin, Asian, and American Indian all serve side-by-side with dedication and distinction. However, the integration of …

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FIGHTING FOR RESPECT: African-American Soldiers in WWI

By Jami L. Bryan As the people of the United States watched World War I ignite across Europe, African American citizens saw an opportunity to win the respect of their white neighbors. America was a segregated society and African Americans were considered, at best, second class citizens. Yet despite that, there were many African American …

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The Black “Immune” Regiments in the Spanish-American War

By LTC Roger D. Cunningham, USA Ret. In April 1898 Congress declared war on Spain, and patriotic Americans of all colors rallied to the flag.  The rampant discrimination that characterized race relations in this country during the Gilded Age caused some black citizens to question America’s crusade to end Spanish oppression of dark-skinned Cubans, Puerto …

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