The Black Soldier
1492 to the Present
By Catherine Clinton
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395677223, 128pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 2000
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Black soldiers have fought and died in the Americas for centuries, forming a chain of warriors stretching back nearly 500 years. Yet their contribution to our nation’s history has been neglected, and the battles they’ve had to fight against racism and prejudice have often been as challenging as facing the enemy on the field of battle.
This exciting story of African-American heroism traces the history of the black soldier, from the African explorers who accompanied Columbus to African Americans who took up arms in the American Revolution, the Civil War, and Desert Storm. These tales of heroism show young readers that while black soldiers were once systematically ignored within the armed forces, earning little praise and often dying for a nation that granted them few rights, black men and women rose to the occasion and distinguished themselves with each successive opportunity to prove themselves in combat and in the ranks. Ultimately, the sacrifices of these valiant soldiers led to today’s fully integrated armed services.
Catherine Clinton earned her undergraduate degree in Afro-American studies from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in history from Princeton. She is the author of many historical works for children and adults, including I, TOO, SING AMERICA: THREE CENTURIES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY, and has taught African American Studies at Brandeis University, Brown University, and at Harvard University, where she is a fellow at the Dubois Institute. Dr. Clinton lives in Connecticut with her husband and two sons.