The inaugural Great War Institute Lecture Series focused on the life and service of Colonel Charles Young, (1864-1922).
Born to enslaved parents on 12 March, 1864 in May’s Lick, Kentucky, Charles Young was the third African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy West Point, first African American National Park Superintendent (Sequoia National Park, California), first Military Attaché to Haiti and the Dominical Republic, and first African American Colonel in the U.S. Army. The legacy of Colonel Young’s service in the Indian Wars, Spanish American War, Philippine American War, Pancho Villa Expedition and World War I are continued through the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio, and collection held in the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center.
The Great War Institute Presents: Veterans Day Lecture Series, 2021
Title: “The Legacy of Colonel Charles Young”
Date: November 5, 2021
Time: 7 p.m. CST
Speaker: Brian Shellum
Brian Shellum is an author and historian who writes about African American and military history. He retired in 2015 as a senior intelligence officer with the Department of Defense in the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. Prior to that, he served as a government historian at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for 12 years. He retired from the U.S. Army after service as an armor officer and West European foreign area specialist. His career highlights include various troop assignments with tank units, a tour as an army attache in Bonn, Germany, Gulf War service with the 2nd Brigade, First Armored Division, and work as a senior political-military analyst at DIA. He lived and studied for ten years in Germany and speaks fluent German. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, holds a graduate degree from Campbell University, and studied at the University of Bonn. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal and the Order of St. George.
In addition to a number of classified and unclassified government publications at DIA, Brian Shellum authored three books titled Black Cadet in a White Bastion: Charles Young at West Point, Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young, and African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910-1942, all published by the University of Nebraska Press. He was invited to present the annual Redmond Kernon History Lecture at the Presidio of San Francisco in 2014 and the inaugural Veterans Day military history author symposium at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. His fourth book, Buffalo Soldiers in Alaska, Company L, Twenty-Fourth Infantry, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in November 2021.
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