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The Marines of Montford Point

This title presents the story of the pioneering troops, in their own words. With an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, the United States Marine Corps - the last all-white branch of the U.S. military - was forced to begin recruiting and enlisting African Americans. The first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point, adjacent to Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina. This book, in conjunction with the documentary film of the same name, tells the story of these pioneering African American Marines. Drawing from interviews with 60 veterans, Melton McLaurin relates in the Marines' own words their reasons for enlisting; their arrival at Montford Point and the training they received there; their lives in a segregated military and in the Jim Crow South; their experiences of combat and service in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; and, their legacy. This book serves to recognize and to honor the men who desegregated the Marine Corps and loyally served their country in three major wars.
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About the Author

MELTON A. McLAURIN is professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is author of eight books, including the award-winning Separate Pasts: Growing Up White in the Segregated South.


"A quick but inspirational read." -- "Journal of America's Military Past" "Beautifully collected interviews. . . . Anyone interested in any aspect of the civil rights struggle or the history of race relations in the US must read this book. . . . Essential." -- "CHOICE" "A valuable contribution to our understanding of the black military experience in World War II." -- "North Carolina Historical Review" "Eloquent, unedited stories." -- "Our State" "An important contribution to military and civil rights history. . . . ["he Marines of Montford Point: America's First Black Marines"] is a set of excerpts [of interviews] which, in Studs Terkel fashion, create an oral history of this group of Marines." -- Durham "Sunday Herald-Sun"

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