Brian G. Shellum

African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910-1942

African American Officers in Liberia tells the story of seventeen African American officers who trained, reorganized, and commanded the Liberian Frontier Force from 1910 to 1942. In this West African country founded by freed black American slaves, African American officers performed their duties as instruments of imperialism for a country that was, at best, ambivalent about having them serve under arms at home and abroad.
The United States extended its newfound imperial reach and policy of “Dollar Diplomacy” to Liberia, a country it considered a U.S. protectorate. The book explores U.S. foreign policy toward Liberia and the African American diaspora, while detailing the African American military experience in the first half of the twentieth century. It brings to life the story of the African American officers who carried out a dangerous mission in Liberia for an American government that did not treat them as equal citizens in their homeland, and provides recognition for the critical role they played in preserving the independence of Liberia.

Selected Works

Military History
The story of African American Officers who served in Liberia, 1910-1942.
Military Career of Charles Young, pointman for his race in the U.S. Army.
The early life and Academy experiences of Charles Young, the third black West Point graduate.
Military Intelligence History
The declassified documents and commentary that trace the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1961 to 1965.
A concise chronology of the defense intelligence support before and during the First Gulf War from 1990-1991.

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