Colin Powell embodied African American ‘two-ness’

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Colin Powell embodied African American ‘two-ness’

As a black military man, he would have had to wrestle with serving a country that didn’t serve him

Chad Williams

Colin Powell knew where he fitted in American history.

The former secretary of state, who died (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/18/us/politics/colin-powell-dead.html) on Monday at the age of 84 as a result of Covid-19 complications, was a pioneer: the first black national security adviser in US history, the first black chairperson of the joint chiefs of staff and the first black man to become secretary of state.

But his “American journey (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/133242/my-american-journey-by-colin-powell-with-joseph-e-persico/)”, as he described it in the title of a 2003 autobiography, is more than the story of one man. His death is a moment to think about the history of black American men and women in the military and the place of African Americans in government...

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