The Black Soldier
1492 to the Present
By Catherine Clinton
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395677223, 128pp.)
Publication Date: September 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.
"Clinton has found a story that needs to be told, and she tells it with energy and conviction. . . . A heartening account of triumph over adversity." Booklist (9/15/00) Booklist, ALA
The Bulletin (10/00) The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Clinton chronicles the fascinating story of he valiant contributions of African-American men and women. . . . Short chapters, lively narration, and a detailed index make this an easy book for students to use for reports. Its subject matter is an important and often neglected part of American history." Kirkus Reviews (7/1/00) Kirkus Reviews
"Clinton’s historical chronology of African-American participation in American wars shows the harsh realities and suffering that black soldiers faced both on the front lines and at home." School Library Journal (10/00) School Library Journal