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The Harlem Hellfighters

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The Harlem Hellfighters

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New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly tell the true story of the unsung American heroes of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I in The...
New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly tell the true story of the unsung American heroes of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I in The...
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    8.7
  • Lexile:
    1130
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Reading Level:
    8 - 9

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Description-
  • New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly tell the true story of the unsung American heroes of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I in The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage.

    At a time of widespread bigotry and racism, the African American soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment put their lives on the line in the name of democracy.

    The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage is a portrait of bravery and honor.

    Supports the Common Core State Standards

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Defending America

    Blacks have participated in all of America's battles. When the first Africans arrived in North America in 1619 as captive labor, they found a conflict between the white British and the Native Americans, who were here first. The colonists were hesitant to arm the very people they had enslaved, but blacks soon found themselves not only working the land but defending it as well. Later, during the French and Indian War (1754–1763), blacks were again called upon to help defend the British.

    When the American colonies declared their independence on July 4, 1776, thousands of blacks lived in the thirteen colonies. Most of them were slaves. Some were promised their freedom if they fought against the British; others were simply sent into the war as laborers, personal aides, or soldiers. The small American navy consisted largely of privately owned vessels called privateers, and many of these had black sailors among them. James Forten, a free black youth of fourteen living in Philadelphia, sailed with Captain Stephen Decatur Sr. aboard the Royal Louis in the summer of 1781. The first voyage of the Royal Louis resulted in a stunning victory against a British ship and the taking of the ship as a prize of war. Forten's luck did not last very long, and the Royal Louis was captured by a British warship. Forten, who had befriended the son of the captain who held him, refused the chance to go over to the British side and escape imprisonment. He saw himself, even during this period in which slavery was legal, as an American and remained loyal to the American cause.

    Eventually, more than five thousand black men would fight for the independence of the colonies. A Hessian soldier commented in his diary that there were blacks in every American regiment that he had seen.

    During the course of the war the British offered freedom to any slave who would fight with the British against the colonists. Many blacks did escape to the British lines and either worked as laborers for the British or participated in battles against the rebellious Americans.

    During the Revolutionary War the colonists were divided in the treatment of black men. On one hand they were being asked to fight for the liberation of the colonies, but on the other hand they were not being guaranteed their own freedom. Lord Dunmore, the governor of the Virginia Colony and a British loyalist, had worried about the presence of blacks in Virginia. He felt that the blacks would side with whoever offered them freedom. When the war began, he offered blacks their freedom in return for fighting with the British. Hundreds of black men joined the British army and fought against America, sometimes having to fight against the many thousands of blacks who fought for the colonists.

    The war ended successfully for the colonists, and many slaves who had taken up arms or labored for the Americans were recognized and given their freedom in thanks for their participation in the war. Blacks who fought for the British were, by agreement between the American and British governments, given their freedom and taken to the West Indies or to Canada after the war.

    Most of the battles in the War of 1812 against Great Britain took place at sea with mixed crews of blacks and whites. General Andrew Jackson, fighting off the British at the end of the war, put out a call to black citizens to fight in the American army: 'Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist.'

    Black soldiers served in this brief war both as soldiers and as laborers, building fortifications, carrying supplies, and even...

About the Author-
  • Five-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Walter Dean Myers was the acclaimed author of a wide variety of nonfiction and fiction for young people. His nonfiction includes We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart; Now Is Your Time!: The African-American Struggle for Freedom; I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told; Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly; and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner. His illustrious list of young adult novels includes Darius & Twig; All the Right Stuff; Lockdown; Dope Sick; Autobiography of My Dead Brother; the New York Times bestseller Monster, which was the first winner of the Michael L. Printz Award; and many more. He was the 2012-2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and an inaugural NYC Literary Honoree.

Title Information+
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    HarperCollins
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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