My students have shown great interest in both social history and African-American history. Discussions of United States foreign policy have proven less successful, although the events of September 11, 2001 did increase interest in the history of United States foreign policy. Last summer Professor Harry Williams, chairman of the History Department at Carleton College (my alma mater), suggested that an examination of the African-American experience in the military might interest my students. I believe he is correct.
This unit could be taught as a “stand alone” unit in an Advanced Placement course organized thematically. In a chronologically-organized course like mine, the lesson plans could be used as supplementary material for several historical periods. The unit begins with a historical essay which describes, analyzes, compares, and evaluates my sources. This essay should be suitable reading for Advanced Placement students. I will then provide ten one-page handouts describing key periods and key figures in African-American military history.