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Black, White, and Olive Drab

Racial Integration at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and the Civil Rights Movement
Andrew H. Myers
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One of the first Army bases to implement on a large scale President Truman’s call for racial integration of the armed forces, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, quickly took its place in the Defense Department’s official history of the process. What reporters, and later on, historians, overlooked was the interaction between the integration of Fort Jackson and developments, in particular, the civil rights movement, in the wider communities in which the base is situated.In Black, White, and Olive Drab, Andrew H. Myers redresses this oversight; taking a case-study approach, Myers meticulously weaves together a wide range of official records, newspaper accounts, and personal interviews, revealing the impact of Fort Jackson’s integration on the desegregation of civilian buses, schools, housing, and public facilities in the surrounding area. Examining the ways in which commanders and staff at the installation navigated challenges over racial issues in their dealings with municipal authorities, state politicians, federal legislators, and the upper echelons of the military bureaucracy, Myers also addresses how post leaders dealt with the potential for participation in civil rights demonstrations by soldiers under their command. Original and provocative, Black, White, and Olive Drab will engage historians and sociologists who study military-social relations, the civil rights movement, African American history, and the South, as well as those who are interested in or familiar with basic training or the American armed forces.