copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
Three score ago, after a long history of service, superior, and yet segregated, Black soldiers were recognized as equal, or at least consideration for the possibility was put forth. In truth, then and perhaps now, manpower needs took precedence over racial prejudice in name only. The story begins on July 26, 1948, or perchance, years earlier. Historians speak of President Harry S. Truman's doctrine, Executive Order 9981. The directive states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin." While the words are wondrous, the tale of what was and is, does not begin or end with this decree.