Benjamin O. Davis Jr. entered West Point in 1932 as its only black cadet and spent the next four years shunned, writes the Associated Press.
He roomed alone, and no one befriended him. The future Tuskegee Airman and trailblazing Air Force general later said he was “an invisible man,” writes AL.com.
Now – more than a decade after his death – the academy that allowed Davis to be ostracized is giving him an honor.
A new cadet barracks being constructed at the U.S. Military academy will be named for Davis. It is a rare privilege previously granted to graduates like MacArthur and Eisenhower, writes the New Zealand Herald.
Officials at the legendary military university say Davis was a good choice because of his career and character. It also gives the academy a chance to belatedly do right by Davis.
“If you want to know what, ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ look like, just read a little bit about Benjamin O. Davis Jr., and your jaw will drop because he is the epitome of what we want at a time when we didn’t know what ‘right’ looked like,” said Colonel Ty Seidule, the head of West Point’s history department, writes the Salt Lake Tribune. “So it’s our chance to acknowledge one of our greatest graduates.”