Review Of Max Brooks 'Harlem Hellfighters'

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The Harlem Hellfighters,” was written by Max Brooks was published April 1, 2014. Brooks comic recounts the obstacles and hazards the 369th infantry regiment faced during World War I. The 369th infantry regiment was largely African American, during the time the comic takes place African Americans were facing racial issues whether it be in the states during boot camp or in a foreign country fighting on the frontline. Brooks illustrates the issues these men faced when fighting for their country and how they were treated for their service. World War I was a graphic and violent war however, how military officials treated African American soldiers was appalling. Throughout the beginning of the comic the soldiers talk about their unit and the men …show more content…

South Carolina was filled with violence towards African Americans, and there were rumors always circulating of police officials lynching soldiers and beating soldiers. There was a case where the last regiment sent there retaliated and killed sixteen white civilians. For these actions they hung 13 African American soldiers for mutiny. This event was called the Houston Riot and it was started because of a rumor that was spreading throughout the camp. “On August 23, 1917, a rumor reached the camp that Corporal Charles Baltimore had been killed for interfering with the detention and interrogation of a black woman by Houston police; in fact, Baltimore had been beaten but survived and was later released.” (Leiker, Houston Mutiny of 1917). Generals were begging their troops to not interfere with civilians because they would never see the frontline if they retaliated. However, Brooks talks about the 7th regiment charged in to help Edge and Co. when they were being assaulted by a group of white men. Edge goes on in the next line to talk about how less of a man he felt when the soldiers helped him. “But having to be saved by those white boys made me feel just as low as those other white boys had seen me.” (Brooks, Page 53). Edge talks about every man’s …show more content…

The term shell shock was created during World War I, soldiers who witnessed some graphic events were left scarred for life and left them emotionless. Shell shock was an epidemic during World War I and soldiers would describe shell shock as a different type of death “We learned about another kind of death... The death of the mind,” (Brooks, Page 101). During World War I shell shock became an issue for military officials, they were terrified that their men would develop shell shock and not be able to fight on the lines. Soldiers classified comrades with the mental disease as zombies because of their lifeless behavior and emotionless facial expressions. However, some soldiers believed shell shock could be cured, there was a British soldier named Charles Myers. Myers was a medically trained psychologist who had theories about curing shell shock. “Myers identified three essentials in the treatment of shell shock: "promptness of action, suitable environment and psychotherapeutic measures,"” (Jones, Shell shocked). Brooks writing about the illnesses and environment of life on the frontline helps paint a picture in his audience’s mind of the ordeal of problems soldiers dealt

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