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The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met…

The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage

by Walter Dean Myers

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The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Walter Dean Myers and Bill Miles is a book for ages 9-12 and chronicles the exploits of the “Harlem Hellfighters,” who were African-American soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War 1. Miles writes the preface to the book and talks about his personal connection to the unit and Harlem, eventually becoming the unit historian.

Read the full review: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2012/03/the-harlem-hellfighters-when-pride-met-coura... ( )
  sagustocox | Mar 1, 2012 |
The 369th Infantry Regiment was a black WWI regiment whose mere existence was so troublesome to the United States Army, that the Army signed the 369th over to French command for the duration of the war. Even without adequate training, even having to fight with unfamiliar weapons under the command of officers they couldn't understand, the 369th performed valiantly, never giving up ground to the Germans and never allowing any of their men to be taken prisoner.

This volume is written for kids, but it isn't a lightweight gloss on the material: it runs 150 pages, and Myers uses the space well, managing to explain the political conflicts that caused the regiment to be formed, and then signed over to French command. Myers does a nice job with the emotional notes, as well -- the soldiers' dreams that honor on the battlefield will be a stepping stone toward equality, the terror and rigors of trench warfare, the heroism of individual soldiers, the infuriating belittling of their achievements from their racist officers. Myers draws a rich picture of the 369th and the world it operated in, populating it with full individuals. Neither bad guys nor good guys become caricatures -- each have their own hopes, goals, histories, and fears.

A marvelously done book, and highly recommended. ( )
  sanguinity | Sep 5, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006001136X, Hardcover)

The story of the Harlem Hellfighters is not simply one of victory in a war. . . . It is the story of men who acted as men, and who gave a good account of themselves when so many people thought, even hoped, that they would fail. What defines a true hero? The "Harlem Hellfighters," the African American soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I, redefined heroism -- for America, and for the world. At a time of widespread bigotry and racism, these soldiers 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. With compelling narrative and never-before-published photographs, Michael L. Printz Award winner Walter Dean Myers and renowned filmmaker Bill Miles deftly portray the true story of these unsung American heroes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

The true story of the African American heroes of World War I, the soldiers of the 369th Infantry Regiment, dubbed the "Harlem Hellfighters."

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