Patrick Center July 16, 2013 | WGVU “My name is Curtis Morrow and I’m a Korean War Veteran. I joined the service here in Michigan in 1950. That was at age 17. Just to get a chance to travel and to help my parents which was my mother who was a single parent. Took basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas and I was assigned to the 24th Infantry Regiment. Korea was 19…well, I arrived there December the 4th of 1950 about eight miles north of Pyongyang. That was when the United Nations was in full retreat…nightmare that lasted nine months for me.”
Army Private Curtis “Kojo” Morrow tells me about those days as we sit near the fountains outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. He describes the terror of war and the institutional racism experienced while serving in the military. The story unfolds in his book, What’s a Commie Ever Done to Black People?
A rifleman in the all African American 24th Infantry Regiment Combat Team known as the Buffalo Soldiers, Morrow and generations of black patriots have battled to protect American freedoms since the Buffalo Soldiers inception in 1866 with the formation of the U.S. 10th Calvary Regiment. Morrow would serve with the segregated regiment to its end when it was deactivated in 1951.He says he fought two battles; protecting national interests overseas and confronting racism at home.
“You know, you go places and you see people that haven’t done anything and yet they have the nerve to put me down, a person of color, who actually sacrificed whether mentally or physically wounds, so that they can enjoy the lifestyle that our ancestors, all of us, went through. But after a while you realize that that’s sort of a form of ignorance, too on their side. So many of the guys that returned in one piece, I was one of them, you know they were into other struggles, Civil Rights struggles. Over there we had weapons, we could fight, but that would be useless here. So we used the law and that’s what we did, you know fighting for our rights. I think we done well.”
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