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Breaking the Color Barrier: The U.S. Naval Academy's First Black Midshipmen and the Struggle for Racial Equality Paperback – December 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0814740552 ISBN-10: 0814740553

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814740553
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814740552
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,390,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This detailed story is one that has been long overdue in being told. Dr. Schneller has told it exceedingly well.”
-Proceedings/U.S. Naval Institute


“Describes for the first time the difficulties Wesley Brown endured and the concerted effort by a ‘tight knot’ of Southern upperclassmen to oust him using racial epithets, ostracism, and demerits.”
-Washington Post


“Not only has [Schneller] given us his remarkable insight into one man's story of courage, perseverance and determination, but he has framed that dramatic experience within the larger narration of American race relations in the twentieth century…. Anyone desiring a more complete understanding of African Americans' struggle to desegregate the armed forces will find this book indispensable.”

-Journal of American History,

“This richly researched and judiciously written study facilitates deeper comprehension of how institutional racism preserved white hegemony in the U.S. Navy until Midshipman Wesley Brown detonated its color barrier.”
-Darlene Clark Hine,author of A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America

“A marvelous book. Schneller takes what might first appear to be a fairly narrow topic and offers a sweeping, well-researched account which places the question of race at the Naval Academy in the context of the Navy and the nation.”
-International Journal of Maritime History


About the Author

Robert J. Schneller Jr. is an official historian in the Contemporary History Branch of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Historical Center and holds a Ph.D. in military history from Duke University. He is an award-winning biographer and historian, and has published several books on American naval history, including Shield and Sword: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf War, and A Quest for Glory: A Biography of Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed account of how the first black midshipman came to graduate from the naval academy. The author certainly did his research on this one.
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