MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Long before Colin Powell became the first African-American four-star general in the U.S. Army, before President Truman wiped out official racial segregation in the armed forces with Executive Order 9981, before the Tuskegee Airmen earned their fame during World War II, and even before the courageous 54th Massachusetts Infantry fought valiantly in the Civil War, there were black men and women who served the United States in times of war.
From serving in largely non-combat roles in early conflicts to fighting heroically on the front lines to rising to the highest levels of the military hierarchy, black soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen have served with through the centuries with distinction, often paying the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of their nation. But while the contributions of black veterans throughout U.S. history are indisputable, the coverage of their service has rarely matched the magnitude of those contributions. Until now.
The first comprehensive illustrated history on the subject, Black Faces of War: A Legacy of Honor from the American Revolution to Todayuses more than 250 revealing archival images to help tell the story of the black serviceman and woman throughout American history. Along with extensive research on conflicts from the American Revolution through Iraq and Afghanistan, author Robert V. Morris brings his own unique viewpoint to the subject, coming from a family steeped in military tradition. He includes his own proud lineage as part of the African-American experience of war, offering a fresh perspective on the men and women who served their country with pride during both times of bondage and times of freedom.
“Growing up around a number of black combat veterans and officers of various military conflicts exposed me to many stories that had never seen print before,” said Morris. “The discrimination against and humiliation of black servicemen and women has been reported, but rarely the specifics. What happened when a WWI black officer encountered a white enlisted man from the south? What happened when a WWII black female WAC encountered a white male officer or enlisted man? What were troop race relations in Korea or Vietnam? This is the type of knowledge I wanted to offer in my book.”