Our Colored Heroes
Host Tukufu Zuberi switched roles for this story and brought a question of his own to History Detectives.
Tukufu collects posters featuring African Americans in combat. One in particular intrigues him. Titled Our Colored Heroes, the poster tells an incredible World War I story. A raiding party of more than 20 Germans attacked two African American doughboys on sentry duty. The poster quotes General Pershing who praises the two colored sentries who ‘continued fighting after receiving wounds and despite the use of grenades by a superior force.’
Did all of this actually happen? And why was this poster made? Tukufu, along with fellow History Detectives host Elyse Luray track down the truth, and call on the insight of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to answer Tukufu’s question.
Tukufu’s story “Our Colored Heroes” struck a chord with many of you. Several asked how they could join in the effort to honor the person central to Tukufu’s poster, WWI Sgt. Henry Johnson.
In his research Tukufu learned that US Senator Charles Schumer of New York is asking military leaders to posthumously present a Medal of Honor to Sgt. Johnson.
“Sergeant Henry Johnson’s heroic tale is inspiring a nation, and it’s vital that our military leaders and the President finally award Sgt. Henry Johnson this long overdue Medal of Honor,” said Schumer.
Since our story aired the Senator has added a petition to his website. People who want to support this effort can e-sign the petition here.
Special thanks to the Department of Defense and Arlington National Cemetery. Additional research provided by Tiffini Bowers.
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Society of Illustrators, American
Museum of Illustration
128 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065
- Also with Elyse Luray Lost Gold Ship Is this wreck in Alaska the remains of a steamship carrying miners to the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897?
- Related Investigation Confederate Eyeglass Is this how southern sympathizers identified each other during the Civil War?
- Also with Elyse Luray Civil War Submarine Is this submarine an example of new technology developed by the Confederates during the Civil War?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Luxury Liner Picture Frame Is this picture frame a piece of the Titanic, Lusitania or neither?
- Related Investigation Copperhead Cane How did this cane inspire a fiery political movement that threatened Lincoln's presidency?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Great Mexican War Posters Is this an advertisement for a film made by an eyewitness to the Mexican Revolution?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.