British West Indian Regiment (BWIR) (1915-1918)

On August 4, 1914, Britain joined the Great War. The First World War, 1914-1918, is usually viewed as a predominantly white European conflict. In fact, many Africans, Asians, black Britons, and Caribbeans fought for the British Empire. At the beginning of the war, the British War Office, however, was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist … Read MoreBritish West Indian Regiment (BWIR) (1915-1918)

25th Infantry Regiment (1866-1947)

When the U.S. Army was reorganized on July 28, 1866 for peacetime service after the American Civil War, six regiments were set aside for black enlisted men.  These included four infantry regiments, numbered 38th through 41st.  The 25th Infantry was created during a reduction in March 1869 by … Read More25th Infantry Regiment (1866-1947)

Oliver Golden (1887-1940)

Image Ownership: Public domain Oliver Golden, born in 1887, in Yazoo County, Mississippi, was the son of former slaves who prospered during Reconstruction. Their house, however, was burned twice by Ku Klux Klan which resented the family’s success and they were forced to leave Mississippi for Alabama while Oliver … Read MoreOliver Golden (1887-1940)

James W. Ford (1893-1957)

Communist Party Presidential Campaign Poster, 1932 with image of James Ford as the Vice Presidential Candidate. Image Ownership: Public domain James W. Ford was Special Organizer of the Communist Party’s (CP) Harlem, New York section and the most prominent black Communist in the nation during the 1930s … Read MoreJames W. Ford (1893-1957)

Camille Sosthène Héliodore Mortenol (1859-1930)

Image Ownership: Public domain French naval hero Camille Mortenol was born November 29, 1859 in Pointe-à-Pitre, the largest city in the French island colony of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean Sea, the son of former slave André Mortenol, a sailor, and his wife, Julienne Toussaint, a … Read MoreCamille Sosthène Héliodore Mortenol (1859-1930)

92nd Infantry Division (1917–1919, 1942–1945)

92nd Infantry Division in Combat in Italy, 1944 Image Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense The 92nd Infantry Division, a military unit of approximately fifteen thousand officers and men, was one of only two all-black divisions to fight in the United States Army in … Read More92nd Infantry Division (1917–1919, 1942–1945)

Henry Binga Dismond (1891-1956)

Henry Binga Dismond, a star athlete, medical device inventor, pioneering physician and poet, was born on December 27, 1891, in Richmond, Virginia to Dr. Samuel H. Dismond and Jessie Cornelia Binga.  Henry attended Richmond public schools, Virginia Union University, and Howard University, where he graduated … Read MoreHenry Binga Dismond (1891-1956)