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Military Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Doris Miller was awarded for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Doris Miller to become first black sailor to have a Navy aircraft carrier named in his honor

By News & Current Affairs

A black mess attendant was a Pearl Harbor hero. Now an aircraft carrier will have his name. By Kim Bellware, The Washington Post — It was just before 8 a.m. aboard the USS West Virginia, anchored in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when the first torpedo hit. Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller was deep into the day’s laundry when the blast sent one of his lieutenants racing to…

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Military Recruitment

The student debt crisis is fueling the poverty draft

By Commentaries/Opinions

With the cost of higher education skyrocketing, many young Americans from economically struggling communities across the South and elsewhere have turned to the military as a solution for student debt. By Benjamin Barber, Facing South — Earlier this month, after a United States drone strike in Iraq killed 10 Iranian military leaders including the country’s top security and intelligence commander, elevated tensions between the U.S. and Iran raised alarms about…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

America Nodding and Nightmaring Towards War: Bedding Down and Mad-Maxing With Trump

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — It is an irony of history and a tragedy for the world that before we can finish making resolutions for a new and promising future, let alone begin building one, pathologies and problems of the past continue to pursue us, impose themselves on the present and threaten our very existence. And so, now we are confronted with the real possibility of a war in West…

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Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee Wasn’t a Hero, He Was a Traitor

By Reparations

By Michael McLean, HNN — There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee. The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Let’s Suspend the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — Even as our legislators grapple with impeachment, they are also charged to pass a dozen budget bills, including a bill on “defense”. Recent elections suggest a paradigm shift in the way we view budget spending, what with Democrats taking charge in both Virginia and Kentucky (I’m not counting Mississippi, Dems aren’t likely to capture that one until lightening strikes). Some are suggesting that the government…

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Tuskegee Airmen

Pentagon Admitted to Using Black Soldiers as Human Guinea Pigs in WWII

By Editors' Choice

Black enlisted men were used as human guinea pigs in chemical experiments during World War II—not by Nazi Germany, but by Uncle Sam. By David Love — As was reported by NPR, 60,000 American soldiers were enrolled in a secret chemical weapons testing program in which they were exposed to mustard gas and the chemical agent lewisite, which causes lung irritation and blisters. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense conducted the…

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A convoy of AFRICOM's armored vehicles drive to the Uganda People’s Defence Force compound in Mogadishu, Somalia

Violence Has Spiked in Africa Since the Military Founded AFRICOM

By News & Current Affairs

By Nick Turse, The Intercept — Since U.S. Africa Command began operations in 2008, the number of U.S. military personnel on the African continent has jumped 170 percent, from 2,600 to 7,000. The number of military missions, activities, programs, and exercises there has risen 1,900 percent, from 172 to 3,500. Drone strikes have soared and the number of commandos deployed has increased exponentially along with the size and scope of AFRICOM’s constellation of bases. The U.S. military has recently conducted 36…

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U.S. Has More Military Operations in Africa Than the Middle East

Exclusive: U.S. Has More Military Operations in Africa Than the Middle East

By Editors' Choice

By Nick Turse, Vice — The deadly ambush in Niger last October that left four U.S. serviceman dead prompted months of hand-wringing inside the Pentagon. But that botched operation, which drew national attention to U.S. counterterror operations throughout Africa should not have shocked military leadership, the former commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in Africa told VICE News. “These weren’t the first casualties, either. We had them in Somalia and…

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J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress The caption says: Famous Battery “E” of 1st Artillery. These brave men and the Hotchkiss gun that Big Foot’s Indians thought were toys, together with the fighting 7th what’s left of Gen. Custer’s boys, sent 200 Indians to that Heaven which the ghost dancer enjoys. This checked the Indian noise and Gen. Miles with staff returned to Illinois.

What White Supremacists Know

By Commentaries/Opinions, Editors' Choice

The violent theft of land and capital is at the core of the U.S. experiment: the U.S. military got its start in the wars against Native Americans. By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Boston Review — The United States has been at war every day since its founding, often covertly and often in several parts of the world at once. As ghastly as that sentence is, it still does not capture the full…

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A marine carries a Haitian refugee child at Camp McCalla in Guantánamo Bay in 1992

Remembering Haitian Internment in Trump’s America

By Commentaries/Opinions

For Haitian refugees, Trump is not a new abomination, or even a reincarnation of former Haitian exclusion, but rather a continuation of persecution against Haitians fleeing instability that U.S. empire has itself contributed to… By Miriam Pensack, NACLA — While the U.S. body politic flounders to tease out the exceptional from the troublingly normal in Trump’s America, those inclined to even the most critical forms of pre-2016 nostalgia might forget…

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