An American Uprising in Second World War England written by Kate Werran and published by Pen and Sword Books. £25.00 – Hardback – Pages 236.
This is a story about a group of African American soldiers who served in the 581st Ordnance company of the US army, who were based in Cornwall, England. Remembering this was the 40’s, although Britain could be said to not be as bad as America, in England we still what would be described as having poor views of black people. Let’s just say that black people even in this country were not treated equally of fairly then, some of these soldiers had decided to go into a local town to visit some of the public houses. It is here that there was a confrontation in which shots were fired between these African American soldiers and military police. There was then a court martial in which again the black soldiers were not offered fair advice or support, and this dominates the book.
I have to admit that I had never heard about this incident before, even though it happened in this country and was apparently in all the papers at the time. This book is very good, informative and written well by the author Kate Werran. In this current period it was good to read about this incident but was equally sad to read about because having to read about African Americans being ill-treated just because of their skin colour is so sad and still deeply depressing that in this world we will never learn to treat everyone equally. As a white man I find this discrimination deplorable and wonder when it will ever end, so for a black person I just can’t imagine how angry they feel. I’ve probably gone on a bit of a rant, but this is an important book to read, we all need to start learning even though society has already had so long to learn. A very good 4.5 star rated book.