Imagine that you are an eighteen-year-old Black man growing up in the Jim Crow South of the 1940s. You have maybe a seventh-grade education, and you enlist in the Army, where you become trained to operate and fight from a new Sherman battle tank. But many in the Army do not want to fight alongside you.
Only reluctantly did the Army send its African American tank battalion and other segregated Black battalions to serve in WWII under General George Patton. Chronicling four diverse, segregated African American Army units in General Patton’s Third Army from D-Day to the end of WWII, Battling While Black (the military version of “driving while Black”) reveals the discrimination Black soldiers experienced during the war and exposes another view of General Patton’s personality not widely known.