African-American soldiers who fought Nazis were not in the mood to come home and deal with white folks racism. And they'd learned that racist could be beaten. They not only helped liberate Europe, they helped set the stage for the liberation of the US.
“We took 23 cities in three days,” recalled Baldwin, who fought with the U.S. Army’s all-black 784th Tank Battalion. “We were really moving. We were taking the cities, meaning killing Germans, and running them out. We came in and freed them. We liberated them. To know I had a role in the liberation of Holland means a lot.”
Last week in Washington, the Embassy of the Netherlands honored Baldwin and hundreds of other black soldiers as part of its commemoration of the 75th anniversary of liberation.