African American Military Heroes

African American Military Heroes

by Jim Haskins


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Throughout American history, succeeding in the military has demanded unflagging courage, strength of character, and a patriotic spirit. For an African American man or woman, serving in the military has also meant battling oppression and struggling against deep-seated prejudice. Those who persevered were not only warriors, nurses, or leaders—they were heroes and heroines.

In this action-packed collection, you will meet thirty brave and determined African American military heroes, from the eighteenth century up to the present. You'll discover little-known facts about their families and careers, as well as the remarkable odds each of them overcame.

Ranging from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War, these exciting stories show you how:

  • Private Peter Salem, born into slavery, led the charge against the British redcoats at the Battle of Bunker Hill and turned the tide in America's fight for independence.
  • Harriet Tubman, famous for her daring in the Underground Railroad, worked as a spy and nurse for the Union army during the Civil War.
  • Private Henry Johnson, a member of the first black combat battalion in World War I, single-handedly withstood a German ambush and received the Croix de Guerre, France's highest honor for bravery in action.
  • Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson, chief of the Army Nursing Corps, blazed a trail in the struggle for racial integration in the armed forces during World War II, becoming the military's highest-ranking African American woman.
  • General Colin L. Powell, recipient of the Purple Heart in Vietnam, steadily rose through army ranks to become the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overseeing the U.S. invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm.

This extraordinary collection highlights these and dozens of other absorbing stories of dedicated defenders of America.


Meet the courageous black stars who defended our liberty with uncommon valor—from the early years to modern times:

  • Vernon J. Baker
  • Guion S. Bluford Jr.
  • Sherian Cadoria
  • William H. Carney
  • Austin Dabney
  • Benjamin O. Davis Sr.
  • Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
  • Martin Robison Delany
  • Charity Adams Earley
  • Christian A. Fleetwood
  • Henry O. Flipper
  • Robert O. Goodman Jr.
  • William Goyens
  • Samuel L. Gravely Jr.
  • Lemuel Haynes
  • Michael A. Healy
  • Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.
  • Hazel W. Johnson
  • Henry Johnson
  • Dorie Miller
  • Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback
  • Colin L. Powell
  • Peter Salem
  • Deborah Sampson
  • Robert Smalls
  • Harriet Tubman
  • John Bathan Vashon
  • Peter Vogelsang
  • George Washington Williams
  • Charles A. Young

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118529775
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/14/1998
Series: Black Stars Series
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 555,377
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

JIM HASKINS has written more than ninety books for young readers, including Diary of a Harlem School Teacher; his collaboration with Rosa Parks on her autobiography, Rosa Parks: My Story; The Harlem Renaissance; and Black Eagles: African Americans in Aviation. He is Professor of English at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and winner of numerous awards, including the Washington Post Children's Book Guild Award for the body of his work, the Carter G. Woodson Award, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award.

Table of Contents


Private Peter Salem.

Private Austin Dabney.

Private Lemuel Haynes.

Deborah Sampson.

Seaman John Bathan Vashon.

William Goyens.


Major Martin R. Delany.

Lieutenant Peter Vogelsang.

Harriet Tubman.

Governor Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback.

Captain Michael A. Healy.

Congressman Robert Smalls.

Sergeant Major Christian A. Fleetwood.

Sergeant William H. Carney.

Sergeant George Washington Williams.


Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper.

Colonel Charles A. Young.

Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis Sr.

Private Henry Johnson.


Major General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Lieutenant Colonel Charity Adams Earley.

Seaman Dorie Miller.

Second Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker.

General Daniel "Chappie" James Jr.

Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr.

Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson.

General Colin L. Powell.

Brigadier General Sherian Cadoria.

Colonel Guion S. Bluford Jr

Commander Robert O. Goodman Jr.




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