Over the course of his 97 years on this Earth, Dr. James Huger has broken barrier after barrier of racial discrimination.
He was one of the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and later, he was a witness to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil right movements.
Today, Dr. Huger continues to serve his community, even as he approaches the age of 100.
Recently, he was invited to travel to Washington, D.C., as part of a group of African-Americans who were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Throughout his entire life, Dr. Huger never stopped trying to break down racial barriers. The U.S. Marine Corps was the last branch of the U.S. military to be fully integrated, and that first group to sign up during World War II was called the Montford Point Camp — and James was a part of it.
He shares with us the story of his first formal meeting and how they were explicitly told that their service was not wanted in the Marine Corps. He explains how they were able to prove their worth and valor on the battlefield.
Because of what he and those first African-American Marines did, 25,000 other African-Americans served in the Marines in World War II.
Of those, only four advanced to the rank of sergeant major and once again, James was one of them.
Plus, find out what it was like to sit in the Montgomery courtroom during Dr. King’s trial.