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Response to Number23 (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 1, 2014, 05:24 PM

8. I listened to an incredible story about them on NPR ...

... on my way home from work today. It was absolutely chilling and beautiful

Who Were the Harlem Hellfighters? | The African Americans: Many ...
www.pbs.org/.../who-were-the-harlem-hellfi...‎
Public Broadcasting Service


“Up the wide avenue they swung. Their smiles outshone the golden sunlight. In every line proud chests expanded beneath the medals valor had won. The impassioned cheering of the crowds massed along the way drowned the blaring cadence of their former jazz band. The old 15th was on parade and New York turned out to tender its dark-skinned heroes a New York welcome.”

So began the three-page spread the New York Tribune ran Feb. 18, 1919, a day after 3,000 veterans of the 369th Infantry (formerly the 15th New York (Colored) Regiment) paraded up from Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street to 145th and Lenox. One of the few black combat regiments in World War I, they’d earned the prestigious Croix de Guerre from the French army under which they’d served for six months of “brave and bitter fighting.” Their nickname they’d received from their German foes: “Hellfighters,” the Harlem Hellfighters.

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