The United States military today has a diverse array of service men and women. But in the early 20th Century, that was far from the case. In World War II, African American men were still predominantly relegated to minor roles. The B-1 Navy band began to change that. It was made up of the first African American men to hold a position higher than messman in the United States Navy. And it was the first of many black World War II Navy bands.
Host Frank Stasio talks to Calvin Morrow, a veteran of the B-1 Navy Band; and Alex Albright, author of “The Forgotten First: B-1: And the Integration of the Modern Navy” (R.A. Fountain/2013).