Honoring Female Black/African American Veterans and Advocates

Master Wings Publishing shares distinctive voices and enduring tales. With Black History Month ending and the start of Women’s History Month approaching, we’re providing a list of remarkable narratives of female Black/African American veterans.

To increase representation, we’re sourcing these stories both from a variety of formats, including memoirs, story collections, and biographies, as well as a variety of perspectives, such as active-duty veterans and those who served the U.S. military in other ways.

Here are four important historical sources celebrating these veterans’ courage and contributions:

Forged in Battle: African American Officers Serving in the United States Army – Cleola M. Davis 

Cleola M. Davis is a veteran with over twenty-two years of honorable military service, including active-duty tours in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She began her career as a commissioned Army officer through the ROTC and earned the distinguished military graduate designation and a General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. Forged in Battle is a poignant retelling of her experiences, ranging from persistent racial and gender bias to chronicles of military friendships and acts of courage on and off the battlefield.



Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II – Cheryl Mullenbach.

Double Victory offers an expansive mix of narratives about African American women who served the U.S. during World War II, including military veterans, volunteers, activists, and entertainers. The book covers the courageous legacies of Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Hazel Dixon Payne, Deverne Calloway, and Betty Murphy Phillips. Whether these women were in active duty or supporting the troops behind the scenes, all of their stories highlight the important roles that African American women played.



Cathy Williams: From Slave to Buffalo Soldier – Phillip Thomas Tucker

Cathy Williams is known by another name – Private William Cathay, Buffalo Soldier. She was one of hundreds of women who disguised herself as a man to enlist in the military. She is the only known African American woman to have served as a Buffalo Solider in the Indian Wars. This biographical depiction outlines her journey from her birth to enslaved people in Missouri, her service in the 38th U.S. Infantry, and her remarkable acts of bravery throughout her life.



Open Wide the Freedom Gates – Dorothy Height

While not an armed services veteran, Dorothy Height is a pioneering activist who played a leadership role on a civilian battlefield fighting for civil rights – work for which she earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her advocacy helped pave the way for females and Blacks/African Americans in all vocations, including the U.S. military. From her place on stage during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to her 41-year leadership tenure in the National Council of Negro Women, her memoir is chock full of important history.



These are just a few of countless stories highlighting female Black/ African American veterans and civilian leaders. As we end Black History Month and enter Women’s History Month, Master Wings Publishing thanks the service people featured here and all veterans and veteran supporters who are part of our historical legacy.



Master Wings Publishing Honors Female Black/African American Veterans and Advocates