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20 THE CAROLINA TIMES SAT., FEBRUARY 27, 1982
French I57ih Division. Al Verdun, over 3,000 large
shells were poured onto the trenches half by the
371st. Not one man retreated.' Both regiments
received the Croix de Guerre with Palm. ,
i t Toward the war's end, the United States demand
ed that the 93rd Division be returned to the States.
However, France refused to do so until the Ar
mi si ice was signed. Finding untrue the information
in Confidential Bulletins issued by the Department
of the Army to the various Europeans countries
that maligned the black troops, the French waited
to insure that the Division would get its: just
recognition and participate in the victory celebra
tion. Participate they did in a parade up Fifth
Avenue in New York, marching behind the famous
band of "The Fighting 369th". . '
The 92nd Diyisipn did not fare as. wclLAs part of,.
the American Army, they were constantly inflicted
with libelous charges by the white American of
ficers. Only one regiment, the 368th saw prolonged
combat duty during which ir captured the town of
Binarville. lis French commander, , Colonel ;
Durand, commended the men, five of whom were,
awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the
United Slates' second highest award. Considering '
that the regiment was poorly equipped (no artillery '.
support, no grenades, no barbed wire cutting?
shears., etc.), it acquitted itself well in battle. ' f
At the end of the war, the majority of black'
soldiers were, eager to return Aa civilian life.. -
However, those who wished to remain were assign
ed to the four Regular Black units (9th and lOtlj
Cavalry; 24th and 25th Infantry). When all slots
.were filled, reenlistments were closed. The final
total of black line officers in the regular army was
The oilier branches of the Armed Services
evidenced strong prejudice against blacks during
the hostilities. The navy, which had been particular
ly liberal in earlier wars, had only .01 per cent of its
force composed of black men. Of this number (he
majority were mcssmen or coal passers. There were
a few petty officers who were gunner's mates, elec
tricians or water-tenders. Thirty black women were
yeomanettes who performed clerical duties in the
segregated office in the Navy Department. There
were no.black marines. And so it would remain un
til new hostilities resumed.
World War II
World War II was so extensive that it would, re
quire its own chronicle. Much of that which js com
mon in today's armed services had its inception
either during, or following, the conflict.
Blacks now enjoy opportunities and integration
in and on all levels of the services. All have senior
' officers. ; ' ,
As a result of the successes of the 99th Fighter
Squadron, which was born at Tuskegee Institute
and commanded by (then) Colonel Benjamin O.
Davis, Jr., the fourth black West Pointer, all dreas
of the Air Force are staffed by Black Regulars, One ;
of the airmen trained at Tuskegee, General Daniel
(Chappie) James, went on to become Deputy Asiiis
tant Secretary of Defense. Although Tuskegee In
stitute deserves much of the praise for being the
backbone of the early Black Aviator Corps, West
Virginia States was the first black college granted
the right to institute a Civilian Pilot Training Pro
gram in 1939:
Many black colleges and universities have ROTC
programs; but Hampton, Institute was the first to
have a Navy ROTC program. ' v'-
The Naval Air Force became integrated in, 1948
when Jesse Brown was commissioned Ensien and
received his wings. That same branch awarded (the -late)
commander Earl Carter his winus as their first
jet pilot in 1950. ' T -.
Women, too, .have achieved status in the various
branches. No longer must black "ycomaneites" toil .
in segregated offices, or tend the sick or wounded in "
inadequate separate facilities; ' ;.. '.
At this writing, inequities may still be found, pre
judices in individual areas may still persist, but
basically, the blacks in the military have finally
, ft iff '1
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Oil iuii ii.uut.t
BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPECIAL SECTION, PART Hi:
Charles Young, third black to
graduate of West Point
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The famous Massacre at Fort Pillow, Tennessee
Spectacles: A Closer Look
Reflections On Miles Mark Fisher,
A Centennial Man
' - ? V By Ada M. Fisher
It seems mosl appropriate now at this point in
America's conservative political fervor that we try
to examine the black historical record for those who
might have called it right. In examining Durham's
Centennial Celebration and the Durham Library's
Program. wxas started her by Dr. Fisher running two
weeks and averaging 500 children per week. This
program was concluded by a "Bible School,
Parade" and gave the children a cross cultural ex
posure to nlaces, things and experiences which
exhibit on "Black Durham", the line "The Old might otherwise not have been available to them
I irrie Religion is applied to Miles Mark Fisher and
his ministry. This line had an impact and a message
worth reexamining in this the last week designated
for Afro-American History Month. ' t
An outspoken advocate of the needs of black
people and a voice not to be silenced, Dr. ifslier
spoke, with understanding of 'the consequences of
the integration moves of the. 50' s and 60' s. He .'cau
tioned:, When t he schools are integrated, it will be
the black teachers and principals who will lose their
jobs; it will be our buildings and institutions . which.;
are brushed aside; and it will be our historical
markers which will be demolished.. He understood
that it was essential for black institutions to be
preserved in order that they serve as training
grounds for future generations. He practiced what
he preached using the pulpit at White Rock' Baptist
Church as- a forum . for young aspiring black
ministers who learned under hi .-'Watchful eye. He
took life's sermons to Shaw University ""where he
faithfully taught without pay for more than twenty1
years. As Professor of Church History for Shaw's
Divinity : School," his sdiolarlyv insights helped
; prepare his students who have reached everv corner
of North Carolina and this nation. His' ministerial
service prompted his 1954 designation bv l-honv as'
one ,o f ten ou t st and i ng preach ers . I ong before l he
60's "Black Revolt -, Rev. Fisher was' savinu it
loud. "He was black arid he ..'-.was'' proud'. '-To -develop
self reliance arid feelings of accomplish
ment, live church tirtdcr Fisher's leadership took its
message and programs jo the people. ." .
Scholarship wa "stressed and students encoiirau
cd by Rev; Fisher, to take advanjage Of cdticaiioifal
opportunities. Scholarships honoring Dr. Jair.es U.
Shepard and C.C: Spaulding. Sr.. were established
in his congregation; and Shaw University's. Missibn
understood and promoted. During his, membership
on the Durham Ministerial Alliance, the black
church's obligation to support Shaw financially and
otherwise was always' at the I'orefioni. .From his
own pocket, the cost of educating .many students
was often paid without their knowledge. The
superintendents of the Durham City. Schools an-,
nually were invited to White Rock. Dr. fisher's let
ters of. recommendation helped to secure countless
numbers of jobs for black teachers in ihe Durham
City and County Schools with no demands being,
asked of the giver or receiver other than thai they
do excellent jobs for our children, fisher allowed
no man to be held in.awc by viritiie of coinnuinjty
standing, stature or color. All ot' the governors of
North Carolina; including Broughton, Umstcad,
Hodge.svand Sanfor3 spoke o While Rock's con
gregation and the black ; community. The Work
Protects Administration (WPA) served the black -community
during depressed times through Fisher's
efforts. What some parents couldn't provide, he
tried to make sure all of our children shared. A Day
Care Program was started at. White Rock allowing ,
parents.to have a secure place for their children dur-'
ing their times away. The Vacation Bible School
Scouting at;W.hiie Rock .saw Troop 55 evolveand be
vigorously-promoted by Dr. Fisher, The develop
ment pf young people's talent was always a top
priority -with .him as he" knew that talent was no
respecter of class or' ethnic origins. '
The scholarly historical work for which Dr.
Fisher is .nationally recognized was his book Negro
Skive SonM in tht- Uniieti Stales. Fisher's 'Slave
Swift was the f irk book to 'analvze the deener
mdaning-of the spirituals. The obvious religious
p'ramcwork which many had thought tb;be para
" moimi was shown interlaced with oral history and'
symbolism relating to the black man's life with its
struggles for survival, hopes and aspirations. He
preached on the African traditions passed on in our
songs. The planningteaching strategies of our
historic "secret meetings" were revealed. He
understood the heed for freedom of assembly and
.White Rock Was "a house of prayer for all peopled'
- (he Durham , Coinnii.te,vlon? Negrx). Ai;fais met
there, And it, was under Miles M. Fisher that the
NAACP, 'in "Durham was restarted in the 1930's in
; Durham with the White Rock congregation being
one of the first locally to become Life Members. ;
National. recognition was again given Dr. Fisher
in 195H with hi-, receipt of the Nalional Recreation
Association's Golden Anniversary. Award for his
outstanding efforts in the field of recreation which
acknowledged his development of a superior com
munity recreation program. His church recreation
program was the forerunner of many of N.C.'s city
and state efforts. He started the Durham City . Wide :
, Softball League. Long before America engaged the I
SChinese in international ping-pong, White Rock:
sponsored a traveling ping-pong team which went:
. all over the United States to compete and provide a--
magnificent cultural exposure for the students in-
..i.,J u;k;- Dnxt'e 'rhnrrh House" and "Par-
VUIVLU. T IlllVi 1WIV " - "
sonagc" were the citadels from which "Rev" (as he
was affectionately called -by his youngsters) '
operated these athletic programs. The White Rock ;
"Torpedoes" (the team's name) were on target and
set a precedent in basketball, softball, ping-pong,
checkers, boxing and other sports. "Rev's" pro
grams provided a. feeder system for North Carolina
College and other black institution's athletic pro
grams; For many these programs made Rev. M.MV
Fisher synonymous with recreation in Durham ;
, His outspokenness made many, wncomfortable
for he didn't always talk; about what ought to be or
could be or what was politically expedient.. He talk
ed about what is and what was. He was an ardent
supporter of black businesses providing the inspira
tion and financing , for mary when times were
tough. He championed the cause of the little man
and showed him he was important as veil. He was
neither a segregationist nor separatist, just a
pragmatic realist. Dr. Gerald, Edwards of the Na
tional Institute of Health related that it was Rev.
Fisher who helped him become the first black paper
carries. for the Durham Morning Herald in 1934,
opening job avenues for income previously denied v
to blacks. In approximately 1939, the first black law'
student was enrolled in the UNC Law School with
the help of Rev. Fisher and others.; Clearly, Revf
Fisher understood that what the black man needed
most was an opportunity, Given that, he could,
make his own way. Dr. Fisher's life was about pro
viding this opportunity for others.
Fisher's efforts were supported by those who had
the courage to stand and say wt are men and
women of accomplishment, dignity, beauty, and
potential. Every New Year's "Night Watch" saw
the black community gathered to review their past
and plan for their future saying "Here I am Oh,
Lord, use me." He knew that the message was more
than economics, fame and the here and how. His
words of advice often noted, "You can be right and
everyone else can be wrong. If you believe that you
are right be willing to stand alone and stand up for
your beliefs." "Rev" never dwelled on the price
that had to be paid for taking such a stand. "The
Reverend Doctor Miles Mark Fisher educator,
author and pastor of White Rock from 1933 to 1965
believed in spreading the gospel into all aspects
of community life for he understood "The Old'
Time Religion" and it's good enough for me.
Subscribe to The Carolina Times
you'll call it
"The Overnight Wonder"
Ever feel uncomfortable with your laxative?
Then it's time you tried the gentle medicine they
call "The Overnight Wonder."
It's today's Ex-Lax" and it relieves the discom
forts of constipation by helping restore the body's
oUh natural rhythm. Try it tonight. You'll like the
way you feel in. the morning!
. Chocolated or pills. Ex-Lax is "The Overnight
Take ony as directed -0s few.','. ' 13
c hi t II r
SrV .MTTL-'m civilization flourished in i,' : - ,
'HM ' J f '' Egypt. It was this cul- .;j" f
SW2i33 ture that built the
Ml'l ? Great Sphinx and K.-f
s j i . i w -j. 1. 1 1 u . vi i uvi annus, nivcmcu -hummmi
yiXiiw&2 ffnr:'tiissmf i Tony
Six thousand years ago, a
highly advanced Black
civilization flourished in
F.ovnt It was this rnl-
rA -. ture that built the
L f Great Sphinx and
Writing and filled the land for centuries.
' Or so contends an exciting and con-
troversial theory of Black history. Is it
, true? And if so. what has taken the
Black man from this exalted position to
the bottom of world society today?
, Find out when Tony Brown's Journal
takes a look at this provocative subject in
How Black Civilization Was Destroyed.
This week on your local PBS station.
In the next show, Tony Brown's Journal
presents Trouble in Paradise, an investigation
into a report that Harvard University's Black
students were intellectually inferior to
' And later in March, Tony will present
Should Martin Luther King's Birthday
fe a national Holiday, teatunng guBL
Interactive Service, a live-audience re- ;
sponse system mat teis unio viewers
share their opinions with the rest of the
country, and Is Work a Four-Letter
Word?, a discussion of the findings that
attitude among Black teens may
be as big an obstacle to employ
ment as discrimination and
1 his March, keep in
formed. Keep tuned to
William Jackson, Jeffer.
James Armislead served as a spy under Lafayette
and spy for the Union
For an issue of the Tony 'Bnwn's Journal magazine,
containing copies of program transcripts and .. v.-.v
hiformation, please enclosr $1.50 and send to: L 1
'' TV i?r(wn Pioilm tions
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WUNC-TV CH. 4
TUES, MAR. 9, 7:30 PWI
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