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
Our Native Daughters: Songs of Our Native Daughters review – devastating beauty from banjo supergroup | The Guardian
Four black female banjo players wrestling.
Kamala Harris Pays a Visit to Al Sharpton | The New Yorker
Since announcing her Presidential campaign, last.
African American businesses grew 400% – but they still need investment | The Guardian
According to a recent survey of.
A Brief Rundown of Racism Within Advertising and Why It’s Still Happening Today | Adweek
Over 100 years since the creation.
Washington Post’s first black female reporter: Newsrooms still aren’t diverse enough | Perspective | The Inquirer, Philly.com
When I first walked into the.
Hoptown must move to honor Ted Poston | Kentucky New Era
Editor’s Note: This article is taken.
Equal-Opportunity Evil | Slate
Rebecca Onion, Slate Wye House, a.
Bye, Gucci & Burberry: 10 Black-Owned Luxury Brands to Give Your Money | Ebony
Issues with diversity and inclusion in.
Black History Legacy: Mary Eliza Mahoney, The First Black Nurse | Essence
If you are a medical professional.
Twin sisters have singular vision for art, culture | San Francisco Chronicle
Melorra and Melonie Green have lived.