PHILADELPHIA — Marion Lane discovered the faded photograph after her stepmother died, crammed in a closet with her stepmother’s Sunday dresses. She unrolled it and there was her father, young, handsome and grinning amid a phalanx of soldiers.
She was stunned: “It looked like a graduating class of Army men.”
Her father was a longtime mail carrier who loved his family, fishing and his beloved, gleaming Cadillacs. He never spoke about his service in World War II. On the day she found the photo, he finally told her why.
Her father, John E. James Jr., graduated from the Army’s Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Ga., in 1942, but was never allowed to serve as a commissioned officer. Instead, he was shipped overseas as a corporal with an all-black battalion at a time when racial discrimination in the military derailed the dreams and careers of a generation of African-American soldiers.
On Friday, the Army will finally make amends, promoting Mr. James to the rank of second lieutenant, two weeks after his 98th birthday. The ceremony at the Museum of the American Revolution will be attended by a deputy assistant secretary from the Army, a retired four-star general and Senator Bob Casey Jr., the Pennsylvania Democrat who championed the case.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Mr. James, who descends from a long line of military men dating to the Revolutionary War. “I thought it would never happen.”
more recommended stories
Why Isn’t Voter Suppression A Crime? | Medium
Voter suppression is illegal, but is.
The Abrams Machine Is Not Done Yet | The Atlantic
Stacey Abrams is not conceding. That’s.
Meet the Only Black Woman in the U.S. Who Owns Her Own Bank | Black Business.Org
48-year old Kiko Davis is the.
Former Astronaut Mae Jemison over the Moon for ‘Mars’ | The Network Journal
The second season of the National.
23 Black Chefs You Should Know About | Shoppe Black
Although the number of Black chefs.
Taraji P. Henson Launches Foundation for Mental Health Awareness | Los Angeles Sentinel
Oscar-nominated actor Taraji P. Henson launched.
A Portrait of Black Mental Health in Hues of Black and Blue | Hyperallergic
Artist Malik Roberts has conceived a.
Decades before Stacey Abrams, these black women risked their lives to register black voters | The Washington Post
Annell Ponder is one of those.
Kerry James Marshall named most influential contemporary artist | The Guardian
Kerry James Marshall, the American figurative.
Black Creative Talent Present at New York Comic Con 2018 | The Network Journal
TNJ was at the 2018 edition.