Anthony Gero, author of the new SUNY Press book Black Soldiers of New York State: A Proud Legacy, spoke about his work and signed copies of the book on Sunday, February 22 at the Cayuga Museum in Auburn, New York. Gero, a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, worked more than ten years on the research for the book, trying to answer the basic question of why these African-Americans would serve a country that denied them the full rights of citizenship. “It is essentially a book about dreams,” said Gero. He also includes this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. in the book, which provides further insight: “If a man hasn’t discovered something he would die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
It was fitting to hold the event at the museum, as Cayuga County, with documented African-American veterans from the Civil War on, is mentioned frequently in the book. Black Soldiers of New York State is now available at our website, and if you're in Auburn, you can pick up a copy at the Cayuga Museum.