The story of the 13 courageous black men who integrated the officer corps of the US Navy during World War II - leading desegregation efforts across America and anticipating the civil rights movement
Product Code: 6972
ISBN: 9780807021583
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published Date: 05/19/2020
Pages: 288
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $28.95

Through oral histories and original interviews with surviving family members, Dan Goldberg brings 13 forgotten heroes away from the margins of history and into the spotlight. He reveals the opposition these men faced: the racist pseudo-science, the regular condescension, the repeated epithets, the verbal abuse and even violence. Despite these immense challenges, the Golden Thirteen persisted - understanding the power of integration, the opportunities for black Americans if they succeeded, and the consequences if they failed.

Until 1942, black men in the Navy could hold jobs only as cleaners and cooks. The Navy reluctantly decided to select the first black men to undergo officer training in 1944, after enormous pressure from ordinary citizens and civil rights leaders. These men, segregated and sworn to secrecy, worked harder than they ever had in their lives and ultimately passed their exams with the highest average of any class in Navy history.

In March 1944, these sailors became officers, the first black men to wear the gold stripes. Yet even then, their fight wasn’t over: white men refused to salute them, refused to eat at their table, and refused to accept that black men could be superior to them in rank. Still, the Golden Thirteen persevered, determined to hold their heads high and set an example that would inspire generations to come.

In the vein of Hidden Figures, The Golden Thirteen reveals the contributions of heroes who were previously lost to history.

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CHAPTER 1
“We’re sending you up to Great Lakes.”

CHAPTER 2
“Don’t put your time in Negroes.”

CHAPTER 3
“I just don’t believe you can do the job.”

CHAPTER 4
“We are discriminated against in every way.”

CHAPTER 5
“Would it be demanding too much to demand full citizenship?”

CHAPTER 6
“A cordial spirit of experimentation”

CHAPTER 7
“As good as any fighting men the US Navy has”

CHAPTER 8
“You are now men of Hampton.”

CHAPTER 9
“I feel very emphatically that we should commission a few negroes.”

CHAPTER 10
“You can make me an officer, but my parents made me a gentleman.”

CHAPTER 11
“His intelligence and judgment are exceptional.”

CHAPTER 12
“You forget the color and you remember the rank.”

CHAPTER 13
“There is that salute you never got.”

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

“[An] inspiring story. . . . Goldberg delivers a gripping account of the brutal two-month accelerated course taught by mostly white officers, who often made it clear they hoped the men would fail. . . . Revealing accounts of highly admirable men working diligently within an unedifying episode in American history.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Journalist Goldberg debuts with a carefully documented chronicle of efforts to fully integrate the U.S. Navy during WWII. . . . Goldberg skillfully interweaves his exhaustive account of the pressure campaign for equality with profiles of the individual sailors, showcasing their remarkable equanimity in the face of discrimination. This stirring portrait shines a well-deserved spotlight on a little-known victory in the fight for civil rights.” - Publishers Weekly

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