At a Glance


Why would you volunteer to fight in another country's war? Was it a display of patriotism?

William Katz, Fraser Ottanelli, Chris Brooks

African Americans in the Spanish Civil War

Photo, Paul Williams, Pilot, December 1937

This site documents the remarkable story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a volunteer brigade of Americans who traveled to Europe to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Out of the 2,800 volunteers, 90 (including two women) were African Americans.

"Introduction" features a 3,800-word essay in three parts on the Brigade and its commitment to fighting fascism. "Resources" includes six audio and video files, more than 130 pages of documents, and approximately 50 photographs. "Biography" contains an index listing each of the 90 African American soldiers, along with a 250-word biography for each and photographs of most.

The site makes available for the first time a complete (and downloadable) copy of Walter Garland's 60-page FBI file. Garland was a Communist Party activist and founder of the United Negro Allied Veterans Association (UNAVA). Maps, a glossary, timelines, and lesson plans are coming soon as the producers finish building the site. The audio and video interviews, as well as the supporting documents, are useful primary sources, and the site is a good place to begin research on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.