Saturday, February 08, 2014

BHM2014 - Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

When people think about Black people in the military, I am sure that one of the first names to come to mind is Colin Powell. Rightfully so, I mean he is (kinda) current; his accomplishments are numerous. But today- for my first entry on a person for BHM2014, I want to introduce y'all to another Black military man, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. was born on July 1, 1877 in Washington, DC. He began his military career as a volunteer in the Spanish-American war in 1898. Receiving his commission in 1901, Davis was made a second lieutenant in the regular army. Despite the widespread prejudice against African-Americans, he rose up the ranks, becoming a brigadier general on October 25,1940, becoming the first African American general in the Army. During his decades of military service, Davis spent much of his time teaching others as a professor of military science and tactics at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. 

A well-regarded military officer and an important member of the black community, Davis offered his advice and counsel on how to improve this tense situation and lobbied for the full integration of U.S. troops. Leaving the military in 1948, Davis had spent 50 years serving his country. During his exemplary career, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal. Davis died of leukemia on November 26, 1970.


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