Wednesday, Sept 9, 7:00 PM ET
Dan Goldberg discusses The Golden Thirteen
Live via Zoom. Free with RSVP through Brooklyn Public Library
Through oral histories and original interviews with surviving family members, Dan Goldberg brings 13 forgotten heroes away from the margins of history and into the spotlight. He reveals the opposition these men faced: the racist pseudo-science, the regular condescension, the repeated epithets, the verbal abuse and even violence. Despite these immense challenges, the Golden Thirteen persisted—understanding the power of integration, the opportunities for black Americans if they succeeded, and the consequences if they failed.
Until 1942, black men in the Navy could hold jobs only as cleaners and cooks. The Navy reluctantly decided to select the first black men to undergo officer training in 1944, after enormous pressure from ordinary citizens and civil rights leaders. These men, segregated and sworn to secrecy, worked harder than they ever had in their lives and ultimately passed their exams with the highest average of any class in Navy history.
In March 1944, these sailors became officers, the first black men to wear the gold stripes. Yet even then, their fight wasn’t over: white men refused to salute them, refused to eat at their table, and refused to accept that black men could be superior to them in rank. Still, the Golden Thirteen persevered, determined to hold their heads high and set an example that would inspire generations to come.
In the vein of Hidden Figures, The Golden Thirteen reveals the contributions of heroes who were previously lost to history.
Dan C. Goldberg is an award-winning journalist for Politico. Goldberg has researched the Golden Thirteen for 8 years to restore these men to their rightful place in history.
Registered audience members will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.
Author photo credit Tiffany Nicholson
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“[An] inspiring story. . . . Goldberg delivers a gripping account of the brutal two-month accelerated course taught by mostly white officers, who often made it clear they hoped the men would fail. . . . Revealing accounts of highly admirable men working diligently within an unedifying episode in American history.”
“Journalist Goldberg debuts with a carefully documented chronicle of efforts to fully integrate the US Navy during WWII. . . . Goldberg skillfully interweaves his exhaustive account of the pressure campaign for equality with profiles of the individual sailors, showcasing their remarkable equanimity in the face of discrimination. This stirring portrait shines a well-deserved spotlight on a little-known victory in the fight for civil rights.”