Posted: February 10, 2011 by Jay Rasean in Kasual
Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr.
( 1877 – 1970 )

Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. was a decorated U.S. Army soldier. In 1940, Davis went above and beyond the expectation of a black solider, when he became the first African American general in the United States Army, after being passed over for a promotion many times as white colonels with less experience became generals. Contrary to the unfair treatment of African-Americans in society-let alone the army, Davis excelled from the very beginning of his military career and quickly moved up through the ranks.

Over the years, there has been a constant debate over whether or not African-Americans have had any place fighting in American wars. Our presence in war has been questioned by not only us, but also the very people whom we were fighting beside. During the time Davis was in the army, there was an excessive amount of racial tension in not only the United States-in reference to the army, but also, there were problems in Europe as well.  Davis was an trusted adviser fully conscience of the perpetual African-American issues in Europe. Because Davis was a constant presence on issues of racial integration here in America, he was summoned to lend a hand in Europe regarding the racial integration of soldiers.

In Europe, the American white soldiers were discriminating against the African-American soldiers. The white soldiers had a noticeable amount of resentment toward their African-American peers, as they were excluding them from combat, and urging the British soldiers to participate in their harsh treatment–just to name few instances of prejudice. As an adviser, Davis came up with a resolve for the situation, and eagerly suggested the full integration of U.S. troops. Davis gained a partial victory when Europe agreed on a limited integration.

Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr. proved that the African-American man was just as instrumental as white men in war proceedings-not only by way of his outstanding career, but by exercising his expertise on political issues. Davis’s longevity and progress exemplified African-American soldier’s strength and physical capabilities, as well the evident fact that they were mentally capable and fully equipped with intellectual input. Tremendous honors, and a lengthy career beckons us to be in debt to Davis’s service to this country. Davis is without a doubt the reason why black history should be celebrated year ’round.(K*W)

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