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National Commentary

Black Troops Fought Bravely At Normandy 75 Years Ago

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal and Guide

The United States, Great Britain, France and other allies recently observed the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing on five beaches along Southern France at Normandy on their way to defeat Nazi Germany.

The modern images of the allied leaders, including the U.S. President and other participants, captured by the media at the Normandy Beach event appeared mostly white.

Seventy-five years ago, the mainstream news media and various movies such as “The Longest Day” and others also captured the images of white soldiers valiantly fighting on the sandy beaches against withering gun and cannon fire from the Germans.

But thanks to the written words and images recorded by members of the Black Press who were eye witnesses to the action in Southern France to Berlin, the contributions and valor of Black military men and women were recorded, too.

Along with a quarter million Black servicemen, Black newsmen from the Norfolk Journal and Guide, the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) and the Associated Negro Press (ANP) were on hand to record this history left out of the mainstream press then and recently.

Throughout WWII and especially D-Day in 1944, the Black Press dispatched reporters such as the GUIDE’s John Q. ‘Rover’ Jordan, P.B. Young, Jr and Thomas Young, Lem Graves and the ANP’s Joseph Dunbar to the European and South Pacific War Zones to cover the exploits of the Black soldiers.

In many of the stories printed on the pages of the GUIDE, one could detect the tone of the accounts indicating that the reporters wanted to make clear that “Negro” soldiers were making significant contributions.

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