This story begins almost four hundred years ago, when the first twenty African slaves were landed in Virginia. It traces the African American quest for freedom and equality through participation in military conflict, from the days of the Revolutionary War to the 21st Century. It follows the struggle for liberty from slavery, when, in the Civil War, some 200,000 African American slaves and free men fought on both sides in return for the promise of freedom for all. A few achieved this, but the abolition of slavery did not give them equality. The Spanish-American War came next, followed twenty years later by the “Great War”, where over five hundred African American soldiers were awarded the Croix de Guerre, France’s highest award for valor, yet only one was awarded the Medal of Honor by the United States – seventy-three years after his death on the battlefield. World War II brought the first all-black-crewed fighter squadron, the 99th, followed by the 332nd Fighter Group, the most highly decorated group of men in their theaters of war. These men were the catalyst of political change to bring desegregation to the Armed Forces by means of President Harry Truman’s Executive Order 9981, which preceded the Civil Rights Act by twenty years. Since President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act into law, there have been great, but faltering steps forward. African Americans have finally risen to the top in their chosen careers – four-star generals, astronauts and ultimately an African American President.