Oliver Law, the Lincoln Brigade's Black Commander
Katz, William Lorenhttp://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/15/oliver-law-the-lincoln-brigades-black-commander
Publisher: Counter Punch
Date Written: 15/06/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22661
General Colin Powell was three months old when at 33 tall, broad-shouldered Texas African American Oliver Law, became the first Black Commander of an American Army.The date was June 12, 1937.Law was selected by a committee of three white officers to lead this integrated army.Heard of Colin Powell but never heard of Oliver Law? Hardly surprising. Laws not mentioned in school books or social studies classes, and has yet to find a place in most college texts or history courses. But Law made his mark on world history in June 1937and for very good reasons.
Oliver Law was among a brave band of 2800 American men and women (including 90 other African Americans) who rushed to help the Spanish Republic Spain during its Civil War (1936-1939). Their aim was to stop Hitler and Mussolini from seizing and using Spain to launch their march across Europe. This was a crucial Nazi warm-up for World War II.
These brave Americans were joined by 40,000 other men and women from 52 countries who also volunteered to save Spains Republican government from Hitler and Mussolini and General Francisco Franco, their Spanish fascist ally.
For the only time in world history a global volunteer force left their homelands to defend democracy in a distant land. Though few volunteers had any military training they aimed to shame and prod their governments to stop fascist aggression "at the agates of Madrid." But at this point England, France, the US and other democratic governments did nothing about fascist aggression and England and France encouraged it. So, as one American volunteer said, "some one had to do something!"