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Publisher's Summary

With an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, the United States Marine Corps - the last all-white branch of the U.S. military - was forced to begin recruiting and enlisting African Americans. The first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point, adjacent to Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina. Between 1942 and 1949 (when the base was closed as a result of President Truman's 1948 order fully desegregating all military forces) more than 20,000 men trained at Montford Point, most of them going on to serve in the Pacific Theatre in World War II as members of support units. This book, in conjunction with the documentary film of the same name, tells the story of these Marines for the first time.

Drawing from interviews with 60 veterans, The Marines of Montford Point relates the experiences of these pioneers in their own words. From their stories, we learn about their reasons for enlisting; their arrival at Montford Point and the training they received there; their lives in a segregated military and in the Jim Crow South; their experiences of combat and service in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; and their legacy. The Marines speak with flashes of anger and humor, sometimes with sorrow, sometimes with great wisdom, and always with a pride fostered by incredible accomplishment in the face of adversity. This book serves to recognize and to honor the men who desegregated the Marine Corps and loyally served their country in three major wars.

©2009 The University of North Carolina Press (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Well done

What a testament to the values that the corps instills in it's recruits, draftees, and volunteers, where in the last chapters none of the gentlemen who endured so much hatred, and unfairness harbor any I'll will to the body they served.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great narrative to put contributions of the first black Marines in perspective.

I greatly enjoy d this book. I'm a history buff by heart and a retired Marine. I would recommend this to any person looking to further their knowledge of the military, the Marines and the sacrifices that these Marines made. Semper Fi

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  • Kong
  • Anchorage
  • 01-08-17

Outstanding Book!

I learned so much from this book. So glad they were interviewed these heroes before their story is lost or forgotten by the general public. Even as a 20 year USAF veteran, these interviews are eye opening.
Semper Fi

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Very informative

Personal story narrative kept me engaged... It was as if the I was being told the story in person.

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History at its Finest

This is a fantastic narrative book that should be included in the libraries across this country. People need to know about this history that is not spoken about. THANK YOU for such a book....

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Great historical reference!

The personal accounts from the Marines that paved the way are invaluable and make this a must have.

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Should be read.

Honestly this is a book that should be read by everyone. Especially any interested in the military, leadership, or knowledge on race relations in the US.

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 04-29-13

America's First Black Marines Speak Out

In their own words, the first African American Marines— the men who trained at Montford Point— tell of their lives as in the segregated military: personal and historical.

Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the first black Marine unit into the armed forces in 1941. Basic training was at Montford Point, North Carolina. These soldiers came from all kinds of backgrounds and coalesced to form a unit.

Get ready to listen to powerful stories— over sixty interviews told with pathos and humor, about what it was like to be America's "toughest soldiers" in segregated America.

The Audible edition especially suits the interview format of the book— it's a FANTASTIC production. The readers are all outstanding— you can tell how much it meant to them.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Marred by the narration, a decent compilation dwells

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The narration by several persons is haulting and would have been better served by a single narrator of even moderate performing skill.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There are too many voices saying about the same thing. If these were fused into a fluid narration the more poignant accounts could have held the book aloft. It is not altogether clear what conditions this book desires to focus on and when. It is split into sections rather than chapters of a single narrative. One section is discrimination while another some battlefield accounts, without a central theme drawing all together.

How could the performance have been better?

The voices simply do not fit the words that are read. I have a visceral knowledge of how black men from this generation speak. They talk with the words presented here, but their fluidity is lost to these bumbling narrators.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful