Who Were the Montford Point Marines?

Recruits in the first African-American Marine Corps trained at Montford Point, eventually ending the military’s longstanding policy of racial segregation. The year was 1941. The United States was preparing to enter World War II, and it needed recruits. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced a problem. Hiring discrimination based on race was still the norm[…]

Farmland Blues: The Legacy of USDA Discrimination

The history of discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture and the class action lawsuits by black farmers. The Disopossession What happened in rural America during the quarter century after 1950 has been eclipsed by the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and growing concern over pesticides, nuclear testing, and[…]

The USCT: Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War

The United States Colored Troops (USCT) was a branch of the United States Army founded in 1863. Introduction The United States Colored Troops (USCT) was a branch of the United States Army founded in 1863 to recruit, organize, and oversee the service of African American soldiers during the American Civil War (1861–1865). USCT regiments consisted of[…]

Inside Poor Monkey’s: One of the Last Jook Joints

Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey’s Lounge is the one of the last rural jook joints in the Mississippi Delta. Overview Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey’s Lounge is the one of the[…]

African and Native Americans in Colonial and Revolutionary Times

Ideas about racial and cultural identity, even among indigenous people, have changed significantly over time. Joseph Louis Cook and Pierre Bonga One such person is Joseph Louis Cook, the son of an African-American father and an Abenaki mother who had both been taken captive by the Iroquois. Cook himself was raised in the Mohawk community[…]