New Book Shares the Story of Overcoming Prejudice to Create Freedom in WWII

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War veteran Ivan Houston reveals how his military unit defied expectations to help save Italy

My family and I regularly visit Lucca. The love they share with us is so powerful I feel at home when I am there.

During World War II one division of the military was forced to fight not only the Nazi regime, but also prejudice within the American military and at home. Combat team 370 was part of the 92nd infantry division; the only all-negro division tasked with missions their superior officers thought they couldn’t handle.

Ivan J. Houston was a member of this division, now sharing the struggles and triumphs of this powerful unit in “Black Soldiers: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II.”

“Buffalo soldiers was the name given to the Negro cavalry of the U.S. army by Native Americans in the 1800s,” Houston said. “These units were originally seen as inferior, but made an undeniable impact on American history. That’s exactly what happened with us while we were in Italy between 1944 and 1945.”

Houston, who received a bronze star and purple heart, helped record events in the official battalion journal throughout his time in the military as he and his companions battled to help liberate Italy. Much of the army high command did not have faith in these units, but Houston’s regiment managed to single-handedly liberate the town of Lucca in Italy.

The people of Lucca are so appreciative of the Black Warriors who saved them that today they host celebrations in their honor, including reenactments. The cities gratitude and continued interaction with these veterans even inspired a documentary from the Pacific Films Foundation.

“My family and I regularly visit Lucca,” Houston said. “The love they share with us is so powerful that I feel at home when I am there.”

“Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II” provides first-hand accounts including maps, photos and more to share the story of one underestimated military unit, held down by prejudice, rising to the occasion and helping make a massive contribution to the liberation of Italy.

“Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II”
By: Ivan Houston
SC-ISBN: 978-1-9362-3640-4
SC-Retail price: $14.95
Available at and

About the author
Ivan is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and the retired CEO of one of America’s largest black businesses. He led a very successful business career after his time in the military and still returns to Italy regularly to celebrate the triumphs of his fellow black soldiers.

EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Spencer Hotz | 317.602.7137| shotz(at)bohlsengroup(dot)com
(When requesting a review copy, please provide street address.)

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Spencer Hotz
Bohlsen Group
+1 317-602-7137
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Spencer Hotz