Frederick Joseph Profile picture
Jun 6, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Thread: The 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion – the first African American unit in the segregated US Army to come ashore on D-Day. #DDay
All films about the storming of Omaha Beach in France on June 6, 1944 don’t show any black soldiers. Most textbooks never mention them, but they were there, fighting against tyranny — all while dealing with it at home and in the military.
The 320th were charged with raising hydrogen-filled balloons over the beaches anchored to steel cables. Tucked under the 125-pound gasbags were small bombs .

Until the beaches were cleared, the 320th were infantry troops as well. Digging trenches and round up German troops.
They suffered daily humiliations at the hands of white commanders who considered them less intelligent and courageous than white men. It didn’t matter to them that nearly 2000 Black soldiers had landed in Normandy that day to fight alongside them.
Even still, they did what they were asked to protect the freedoms that they weren’t fully given.

They carried the wounded to safety and buried the dead. They drove ambulances, earth-movers and the trucks that would supply the front lines.
Amongst the 320th was Waverly Bernard "Woody" Woodson, Jr. a 21-year-old med student from Philly. He didn’t wait for a draft notice. He left Lincoln University and signed up for the Army. He finished training as a commissioned officer, but there were no positions available.
Black officers in #WWII were limited by quotas and the rule they not lead white officers junior to them. So he retrained as a medic with the 320th. Wounded twice as his boat drifted toward the beach, Corporal Woodson would save many lives until he collapsed 30 hours later.
The black press dubbed him “No. 1 Invasion Hero” and began calling on the White House to award him the Medal of Honor.

A sole piece of paper exists today in the National Archives revealing that Woodson was, in fact, a candidate for the nation’s highest award for bravery.
After an Army study found pervasive racism was to blame for slights against blacks, President Clinton awarded seven Medals of Honor to Blacks in 1997. Only one man was alive to shake the his hand.

Woody was not among them, he received a Bronze Star instead.

He passed in 2005.
In 2009 the White House and the French government decided to honor the soldiers of the 320th. They received the Legion of Honour from France and thanks from President Barack Obama in Normandy for the 65th anniversary of D-Day.
These are just some of the stories of the brave Black soldiers who have fought for our freedoms while dealing with the oppression of racism and an erasure from from history.

This #DDay lets honor them, and thank them for their sacrifices.

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More from @FredTJoseph

Jul 31, 2018
The Hypocrisy of Racist Logos:

Last weekend I decided to wear this shirt, I figured it would catch some by surprise but I didn’t expect people to be as trash as they were.
The shirt is a play on the Washington “Redskins” logo to demonstrate how people look wearing apparel with a logo that is blatantly racially charged and disrespectful.

The shirt doesn’t have any rude language or slurs such as “crackers” or “honkies”... but that didn’t matter
I left @SXMProgress after just doing an interview with @XorjeO and it was my first time in public with the shirt on.

A white guy walking by mistook the shirt for an actual team shirt and yelled “Go Skins!” I said “nah”, he then saw my shirt and yelled “asshole!”
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May 23, 2018
Thread: Six years ago today, I found out that I have #MultipleSclerosis. A battle I wasn’t prepared for, but with the help of my family and friends, I continue to fight.

I hope my story will help someone else with #MS or a loved one of someone with MS.
I’ve always been in love with athletics and exercise, I played EVERYTHING growing up and that didn’t change as I entered adulthood.

I remained a very active person, so when my body began to feel “off”, I knew something was wrong.
One morning I woke up and my legs didn’t really have sensation, sort of like “pins and needles” when you’ve been sitting too long.

I didn’t think much of it, and I decided to go play football that day anyway. Most of the game I felt fine, but then my legs felt sensation-less.
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May 22, 2018
Thread: I asked people what the longest romantic relationships they’ve seen are, and the responses have been amazing.

People have shared stories, photos, advice, pain, and joy. I’ve added some of my favorites and will continue to add as people share! #ShareSomeLove
Aspire to be like @MsDre20’s parents. Still dancing to their own music.
Romance to smile at and advice on how it continues to work from @kjemcgregor.
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Mar 13, 2018
The audacity of white privilege:

This woman next to me took her shoes off and placed both feet on the table. So I’m waiting for flight staff to say something...
So flight staff walks by numerous times without saying anything, and I’m irate, because no black person would ever get away with this shit. So I start looking at the staff noting that there is an issue. You know, giving them the snitch eye...
So finally I decide to say something to the woman myself. So I say “ma’am, I’m trying to eat, and your feet are next to my food.”

She says “what do you want me to do, the seats are small”
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