Harlem Hellfighters: A Jazz Retrospective

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – We’re inching closer to the end of summer, but there’s still time to take part in the GR Reads Summer reading program put on by the Grand Rapids Public Library.

Today, we highlighted an event inspired by the book, “The Harlem Hellfighters” by Max Brooks. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this is a great book for you. “The Harlem Hellfighters” tells the story of the 369th infantry, a troop of all African American soldiers from Harlem, who fought in World War One.

Dr. Louis Moore is a Professor at Grand Valley State University and the presenter of this evening’s program.


The great intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois implored African Americans to close ranks and join the fight to end the Great War. Although Black troops had to fight in segregated units in World War I, Du Bois understood that, historically, Black participation in the military produced advancements in civil rights. He noted that Black men would fight on two fronts, abroad in the war and back home for their civil rights. Join GVSU African American Studies Professor Louis Moore in a discussion about the Harlem Hellfighters. Following his presentation, the Steve Somers and Friends jazz band will perform while photos and rare film footage of the Hellfighters screens in the background.

Harlem Hellfighters: A Jazz Retrospective

  • Tonight – 7pm
  • Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Main Library  111 Library Street NE  Free Admission & Free Parking