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369th Regiment 'Harlem Hellfighters' Unit Biography, n.d.

369th Regiment 'Harlem Hellfighters' Unit Biography, Excerpted from The Ninety-Third Division

New York State Archives, NYSA_A3166-78_B2_F01_HH_bio
 
Document Description
Biography of the famous Harlem Hellfighters of the 369th Regiment of the 93rd Division, n.d.
 
Questions
 List and explain the three names given to the regiment discussed in this biography.
Create a timeline for this regiment's involvement in World War I.
Using clues from the text, define the word "armistice" and explain why this event changed the official duty assigned to this regiment.
 
Historical Challenges
Research the places and battles mentioned in this biography and write a more detailed biography of this regiment.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
ELA: You are a member of the Hell-fighters. Write a journal entry upon arrival in France. Be sure to write about your experiences with your fellow American soldiers.
 
Resources
Barbeau, Arthur E., and Florette Henri. The Unknown Soldiers; Black American Troops in World War I.Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1974.
 

 

Historical Context
They were called the Harlem Hell-fighters and sometimes referred to as The Black Rattlers, the members of the 369th Infantry Regiment from New York. They were the first African American Regiment in WWI and the first African American Regiment to have Black officers. 
Their record of war was impressive and many of the members earned recognition and decoration. Among their ranks were notable officers, namely, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson a famous American entertainer.
They were led by Colonel William Hayward. When they arrived in France they were relegated to menial jobs instead of combat training. During this time racism and discrimination were the order of the day. Due to the color of their skin they were not given the responsibility of combat. They joined the French 16th division. They were involved in four major campaigns and were awarded several honors. Henry Johnson was another  well known member of the regiment. He was from Albany, NY and the first American to receive the French war honor of the Croix de Guerre.  
 
Essential Question
How did individuals contribute to the war effort?
 
Check for Understanding
Students write a paragraph explaining how this regiment contributed to the war using evidence from the text to support their answer.