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
Kamala Harris Examines ‘The Truths We Hold’ in New Book | Colorlines
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will take.
Growing up with Nelson Mandela | Deutsche Welle
At the age of 11, Ndaba.
Nearly 2,000 Puerto Rican Hurricane Survivors Face Eviction | Colorlines
Today (July 2), a federal judge.
Why Frederick Douglass’s struggle for justice is relevant in the Trump era | The Guardian
A month after Abraham Lincoln was.
Obama makes first visit to Kenya since leaving office in support of sister’s foundation | The Independent
Former President Barack Obama has visited.
Common struggle: Black Lives Matter leader talks of painful parallels with Indigenous Australia | The Guardian
The death of black teenager Travyon.
Black Women Are Suffering In Silence From Arab Abuse | Atlanta Black Star
There is a problem in the.
Milwaukee to Pay $3.4M For Willfully Targeting Black Residents Over Several Years with Stop-and-Frisk | Atlanta Black Star
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee agreed Tuesday.
Emmett Till’s Cousin On Reopening Of Case: ‘An Opportunity For The Truth To Be Told’ | NPR
Deborah Watts was just a toddler.
The Second City of Black America | Los Angeles Review of Books
PITTSBURGH,” THEY TELL YOU when you.