They were an all black airborne unit, but due to the politics of the time, they were not allowed to participate in combat. Instead they were used to fight forest fires, and helped develop the "Smoke Jumper" and rough terrain parachuting techniques. A lot of the guys that stayed in the military after WWII went on to serve in the 2nd Airborne Ranger Company. An all black Ranger unit that fought in Korea. A couple of their members are in the Ranger hall of Fame. I had a really good article on them, that was published in Behind the Lines, but it disappeared during one of my moves.
The Union treated black troops, along with immigrant units (Irish and Germans) like sh*t. Basically using them as cannon fodder in what eventually came down to a war of attrition.
Which is ashame as most people really don't have clue as to there own history other than what little the get in school, or the Hollywood version of events.
The Program would have turned out better if the organizers did not try and only include people from their little group. Don't mind the emphasis on Black history, it's ignoring parts of it that don't sit well with the local Rev Activist/Neighborhood Community Center that I have issue with. If they would expand out to other historical groups that could have helped. Have some blacksmiths out there, food, period reenactment of the slaves, troops from militia, CSA regulars and the Union, along with the city of workers, free slaves that followed. they could have made it into an event with crafts and fun. I know the Feds have a community grant just for this occasion. If they got that grant, well they did not spend it on the Black History month program at Chickamagua Park
I do try to bring enlightenment to you Philistines. Seriously though, I find a lot of this stuff fascinating, but I'm a weird guy anyway. Reading over a couple of articles has gotten me interested enough that I've decided to do more research on both the 555th PIR and 2nd Airborne Ranger Company. If I find enough material, I'll do up a couple of full scale articles and post them here for your reading pleasure (just not sure when it will happen. It took me close to three years to finish my FBI HRT article do to personal issues, work, family, etc).
Have you tried offering to help out, or suggested other to history and civic groups that they participate? Recommend that groups like the Boy Scouts, JROTC programs, etc. Attend and ask questions.
I would have been there if I knew about it. It was in the paper on the same day. Unless I was a member of the Community Center in East lake or part of a minority group that put it on I will never know. This was a photo op for the Park and to spend some grant money. It should be a community event and I will make my opinion heard.
I suspect some of the older folks that run these things still think all the rednecks in 4x4's and rebel flags would come out. I think people are beyond that. What we don't like is being left out because of race or background.
James truthfully American soil is 246 Years, Outside of that Africans were slaves in other parts of the world. But 1 year for anyone is to much. Anyway Im not here to debate, Keep the thread what it is. A tribute to Black History Month.
Last edited by Createdeemcee; 02-27-2008 at 10:27 AM.
I would have been there if I knew about it. It was in the paper on the same day. Unless I was a member of the Community Center in East lake or part of a minority group that put it on I will never know.
Sounds like piss pour planning on the part of the organizers. They should have advertised the event several months out, as I'm sure your not the only one who would have liked to have to ave attended.
Dom, I talked to a local African American business owner whom I know from the Chamber this morning about this. Even he did not know about the event. You would think members of the Chamber of Commerce like this gentleman and myself would be informed of community events. Anyway it got him fired up as well and we may get a better event next year. We will see, if so i will report on it here. The Chamber has the resources to get the word out to groups about such an event. I think a lot of good can be done involving the whole community in recognizing the contributions and struggles of African Americans to the history of the Chattanooga Area. Anyway this is not about race it is about getting the whole community involved in remembering the history of area and honoring those who would otherwise be forgotten.
My point is, I don't care what color you are. If you contributed, thanks for your efforts and what you accomplished. The longer we concentrate on the race of the individual, the longer race will remain an issue.
Labeling people by their race is antiquated and ignorant.
For example, I realize that the Tuskegee Airmen had to tolerate issues that I cannot imagine, but the first thing that pops into my head is not "they are/were black", but that they were very gifted individuals who stuck their necks out abroad and at home defending this country.
There were many ethniticities that faced racism such as the Irish, Italians, etc at some point in the history of this country. I do not need to be reminded of their contributions as Insert Ethnic Background Here-Americans because the key point is that they are/were Americans.
The United States was not the first country to employ slavery, nor did they invent it, but people do not want to let it go.
I promise not to rant any longer and apologize if I have distracted the point of this thread.