Jacksonville (NC)- “If everybody could get into the Marines, it wouldn’t be called Marines”- Author Unknown.
You will see a lot of posts on this website in regards to the United States Marines. Why? Because the author of this post is a Marine. It is an honor for me to be able to past this American history on to the next generation. The story : The First Black US Marines. (In the Marine Corps we don’t use words like “black” or “white” when we refer to each other. Marines use the terms “Light Green” or “Dark Green” when referring to fellow Marines.) Montford Point Marines, because of their hard work and bravery, paved the way for myself and other dark green Marines to be part of the most Elite fighting force in American History. It doesn’t matter if you are retired, non active or currently active: Once a Marine, Always a Marine. Semper Fi.
The above video is a documentary that was created on the Montford Point Marines.
In a race against time, the largely untold story of the nation’s first African-American Marines is, at last, made known through The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom. Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. narrates this stirring, hour-long documentary that captures the experiences of the more than 20,000 African Americans trained in segregated facilities between 1942 and 1949 at Montford Point, North Carolina—becoming the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps.
From its inception until 1942, the Marine Corps refused to recruit African Americans, American Indians and other minorities. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s creation of the Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1941 forced the Corps, despite objections from its leadership, to begin recruiting African American Marines in 1942. The Marines’ first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Montford Point Base, adjacent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and would continue to do so until 1949.
Recruited as a result of America’s entry into World War II, all African-American Marines would continue to train at Montford Point well after the War’s end. In the decades that followed, thousands who trained at Montford Point saw combat duty in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War while all the while fighting for civil rights in their homeland.
Combining the experiences of over 60 Montford Point Marines, interviewed over a period of five years, The Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom delivers the powerful soldier stories from this brave group of men, told with eloquence, dignity, passion and pride. These true tales express anger and humor, sorrow and wisdom, yet reveal a pride fostered by each soldier’s incredible accomplishments in the face of adversity. Every story contains timeless words to be heard, words to be pondered, and words that hold deep meaning and significance for American society in the 21st century. The documentary, written and directed by Dr. Melton McLaurin, Professor Emeritus, at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, was shot and edited by UNC-Wilmington Television.
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