Archives Library Information Center (ALIC)

Military Resources: Blacks in the Military

NARA Resources

"Black Men in Navy Blue during the Civil War"
This article by Joseph P. Reidy appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of the NARA publication Prologue.

Desegregation of the Armed Forces: Archival Materials at the Library
This site from the Harry S. Truman Library provides finding aids to documents relating to the desegration of U.S. Armed Forces. Also available is a Chronology.

"Documenting African-Americans in the Records of Military Agencies"
An article by Lisha Penn from the Summer 1997 issue of the NARA publication Prologue.

Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of the Armed Forces (1948)
This site provides a digitized image of Executive Order 9981, a transcript, and a discussion of the document and its background.

"Exploring the Life and History of the 'Buffalo Soldiers'"
Walter Hill, author of this article in The Record, and an archivist at NARA, writes about the black military presence during the Civil War period, and after the war, when the members of the 10th Calvary acquired the name "Buffalo Soldiers" during the 1871 campaign against the Comanche Indians.

"Face to Face with History"
Prologue article by Jill L. Newmark about black Civil War surgeons.

The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
This is a NARA Teaching with Documents lesson on Colored Troops during the Civil War. It includes topics such as Preserving the Legacy of the U.S. Colored Troops, Treatment of Black POWs, and more.

"Jim Crow, Meet Lieutenant Robinson: A 1944 Court-Martial"
John Vernon's Prologue article about the court martial of baseball great Jackie Robinson after he refused to sit in the rear of a camp bus.

"The Lions' History: Researching World War II Images of African-Americans"
An article by Barbara L. Burger from the Summer 1997 issue of the NARA publication Prologue.

Photographs of the 369th Infantry and African Americans during World War I
A Teaching with Documents lesson plan that covers the 369th Infantry, an all-black regiment known as the "Harlem Hellfighters."

Pictures of African Americans during World War II
A selection of photographs of African American military personnel during World War II.

"Racial Identity and the Case of Captain Michael Healy, USRCS"
An article by James M. O'Toole from the Fall 1997 issue of the NARA publication Prologue.

"Researching African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1890: Buffalo Soldiers and Black Infantrymen"
An article by Trevor Plante from the Spring 2001 issue of the NARA publication Prologue.

"Voices of Emancipation: Union Pension Files Giving Voice to Former Slaves"
Prologue article by Donald R. Shaffer and Elizabeth Regosin.

Other Resources

The African-American Experience during the Vietnam Conflict
This lesson plan includes links to relevant documents.

African American Navy Experience
The Naval History & Heritage Command maintains this site which includes photographs, biographies, information about ships and submarines, and "Interesting Reads."

African-American Soldiers during the Civil War
This lesson plan from the Library of Congress includes several documents.

African-American Soldiers in World War I: The 92nd and 93rd Divisions
A lesson plan from Edsitement.

African American Women and the Military
The Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum provides this site that presents the role of African American women in America's armed conflicts.

African American World War II Medal of Honor Recipients
This site includes the names of the recipients and the heroic actions that were recognized with the Medal of Honor.

African-Americans and the U.S. Coast Guard
"Historical Information on African-Americans in the Coast Guard and its Predecessor Services."

African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - World War II
A selection of images relating to African Americans serving in the Navy during World War II.

African-Americans Continue Tradition of Distinguished Service
This article by Gerry J. Gilmore discusses the contributions of African Americans to the United States military.

African Americans in the Korean War: Forgotten Warriors of the Forgotten War
Paper presented by George Cooper at the Korean War Conference: Commemorating the 60th Anniversary.

African Americans in the U.S. Army
The U.S. Army created this site that includes a timeline, profiles, and resources.

African Americans in World War II: Legacy of Patriotism and Valor
From the Internet Archives comes this Army documentary that contains extensive film footage of African-Americans fighting in World War II.

Black Dispatches: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence during the Civil War
This article appeared in the Winter 1998-1999 edition of Studies in Intelligence, a publication of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence.

Black History at Arlington National Cemetery
This site discusses some of the African American soldiers and sailors buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buffalo Soldiers and the Spanish-American War
The National Park Service describes African American soldiers' role in the Spanish-American War.

Forgotten Patriots
This site describes the Daughters of the American Revolution's (DAR) Forgotten Patriots Project, which "focuses on the important contributions made by African American and American Indian patriots of the American Revolution." Available for download is Forgotten Patriots – African American and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War: A Guide to Service, Sources, and Studies.

Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965
Online version of the book by Morris J. MacGregor, Jr. that "describes the fall of the legal, administrative, and social barriers to the black American's full participation in the military service of his country."

Navy Ships Named in Honor of African Americans
A listing of Navy ships named for African Americans along with the reasons for the honor.

Remembering the Legacy: African Americans in the Military
A timeline from the Department of Defense.

The Right to Fight: African-American Marines in World War II
Part of the Marines in World War II Commemorative Series.

Scartoons: Racial Satire and the Civil War
This University of Virginia site features political cartoons of the Civil War era.

Soldiers and Sailors Database
A database detailing the lives and service of more than 18,000 men and women of African descent who served in the U.S. military throughout the Civil War era. Users can search by name or regiment, or they can explore topics such as Ethnicity, Race, and the Military.

Timeline: African Americans in the Civil War
This website from PBS describes African American participation in several bloody Civil War battles.

Tuskegee Airmen
This site includes photos, descriptions, and videos.

Volunteering For Vietnam: African-American Servicewomen
The story of African-American women who volunteered for military service during the war in Vietnam is recalled on this site.

What Was Black AmericaÂ’s Double War?
Discussion by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about the black community's efforts to desegrate the military during World War II.