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“Men of Bronze”: Reflecting on Legacy of the Hellfighters of Harlem

In this unit the United States 369th Infantry Unit is showcased as a vehicle for teaching political and social history in the first quarter of the 20th Century. This unit seeks to explore an approach to educate students about historical military discrimination, as well as interrelated significant movements in early 20th Century political and social African American culture, while celebrating the achievements of previously unsung heroes of color in American history. This unit can serve a variety of purposes, dependent on implementation and emphasis/de-emphasis of particular topics. Though designed for an African-American History course, this unit could be easily modified for use in any other type of History, English Language Arts or Sociology courses.

     Max Brooks’ graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters serves as an anchor text for this unit. The graphic novel will be supplemented with selections from primary and secondary sources on the 369th to create a context and illustrate key moments for African Americans before, during and immediately after World War I.

Tara Ann Carter

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