Black Cadet in a White Bastion: Charles Young at West Point by Brian G. Shellum, Vincent K. Brooks

By Brian G. Shellum, Vincent K. Brooks

Born in slavery, Charles younger (1864–1922) used to be the 3rd black graduate of West aspect, the 1st black U.S. army attaché, and the highest-ranking black officer within the common military till his dying. in contrast to the 2 black graduates sooner than him, younger went directly to a protracted army profession, finally reaching the rank of colonel. After younger, racial intolerance closed the door to blacks on the academy, and forty-seven years handed earlier than one other African American graduated from West element.

Brian G. Shellum’s biography of Young’s years at West aspect chronicles the big demanding situations that younger confronted and offers a important window into lifestyles at West element within the Eighties. educational problems, hazing, and social ostracism dogged him all through his academy years. He succeeded via a mix of centred mind, exertions, and a feeling of humor. by means of commencement, he had made white buddies, and his motivation and resolution had received him the grudging recognize of lots of his classmates and professors.

Until now, students of African American and armed forces heritage have ignored this crucial U.S. military trailblazer. Young’s reviews on the U.S. army Academy, his conquer adversity, and his dedication to luck cast the mildew for his destiny achievements as a military officer, at the same time the us slipped additional into the degradation and waste of racial intolerance.

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Additional resources for Black Cadet in a White Bastion: Charles Young at West Point

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The gar was a powerful political and social force in the postwar period, buttressed by the bonds forged in battle. Perhaps the two elder Youngs traveled together to attend the fourteenth annual encampment of the gar in Dayton, Ohio, in 1880. 34 Cora’s diary entries for February 24 to 26, 1881, provide a fascinating glimpse of Charles’s human side and his struggle for equality. Cora was a white, upper-class girl who sympathized with Charles’s fight for equal treatment and respected his determination and pluck.

According to this account, “Immediately a wave of ambition for his own son, confidence in the lad’s ability, and hope for the large success for him surged through his father-heart. ” 48 It is likely that Young also discussed the opportunity with John Parker and other people in Ripley. According to one of Young’s military colleagues, Parker “helped Young to nurture his love for learning. . Mr. ” 49 Beyond the encouragement of his father and mentors like Whitson and Parker, why would Charles want to attend West Point at all?

0pt ——— Normal P PgEnds: [24], (9) f re e d o m i n o h i o 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 for music and learned to play the piano and the violin. For the rest of his life, his love for music served as both a social bridge to others and a pleasant diversion from his forced isolation in later years. Again, his mother nurtured and guided his natural talents in music, with echoes and melodies from her past life as an enslaved African American in Kentucky.

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