Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers (Junior Library Guild Selection)
Tanya Lee Stone
A 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist
"An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted, and important tribute to unsung American heroes." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in an attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of First Sergeant Walter Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability."
Front matter includes a foreword by Ashley Bryan. Back matter includes an author’s note, an appendix, a time line, source notes, a bibliography, and an index.
beyond the towers and jump out of airplanes. Become airborne. Before that could happen, the Triple Nickles had to finish learning how to pack parachutes (some of which was taught in A Stage) and review everything they had learned up to this point. There is no room for error at this stage of paratrooper training. Error can result in death: “a tangled mess of bones and flesh that had to be dug out of the ground.” Everywhere they went, they practiced their techniques. Stepping off a curb? They
opportunity of fighting shoulder to shoulder” with white soldiers and promised black soldiers an assignment “without regard to color or race to the units where assistance is most needed.” The letter went so far as to say that black soldiers would “share the glory of victory,” something black leaders had been asking for throughout the war. By the time the black soldiers were sent to the front lines, however, Eisenhower had gotten push-back from other generals, so he recalled Lee’s letter and
Triple Nickles, p. x. “well trained . . . well led.” Biggs, The Triple Nickles, p. ix. “General . . . to the 555th?” and “newest equipment and weapons,” and “I’ll see to that.” Biggs, The Triple Nickles, p. x. “I walked in . . . had died.” Nickles from Heaven. “Everybody was crying . . . Triple Nickles colors,” and “I finally felt . . . belonged to something.” Gonzalez, U.S. Army, February 18, 2010. “There’s no question . . . nothing to do with it.” Nickles from Heaven. “a symbol of . . .
being set free when slavery is abolished. This “mammy” figure, often a heavyset black woman wearing a maid’s uniform or a kerchief on her head, showed up repeatedly across media forms — in cartoons, songs, television shows, movies, and advertisements. All of these portrayals reflected the idea that black Americans were childish, backward, or dangerous — and certainly not equal to their white counterparts. Lena Horne was the first African American to sign a movie contract that promised not to
out a memo. It said that if the corps was forced to accept blacks, it would be limited to enlisted positions because he couldn’t have black officers presiding over white enlisted men, as “this would create an impossible social problem.” Regardless of Arnold’s opinion, the nondiscrimination act was in place. When Howard University law student Yancey Williams’s application to be a pilot was ignored, he sued the War Department for violating the nondiscrimination act. The NAACP took up Williams’s