African American Soldiers 1 Riveters African American Officers doughboys with mules gas masks pilots in dress uniforms Mule Rearing The pilots

369th Experience Articles


369th Experience Scholars Committee

Badger, Reid – Professor Emeritus, American Studies, University of Alabama, and author of  A Life in Ragtime: A Biography of James Reese Europe. Oxford University Press, 1993;  The Remarkable Life of James Reese Europe,” foreword to The Music of James Reese Europe: Complete Published Works, E.B. Marks Music Company, 2012. Dr. Badger will provide information for the study guide and  will lead several topics for the panel discussion for the 14 Points web class. 

Castillo, Marlo  -  Curriculum Specialist – Marlo Castillo is an arts integration consultant and has been working in the field of arts integration both in and out of the classroom for over 15 years. After 16 years of teaching in various public elementary schools including six years in an arts integration model school in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), MD, Ms. Castillo spent two years writing social studies curriculum on the elementary Integrated Curriculum team in MCPS. Ms. Castillo earned her BA in Anthropology from the University of Vermont and her Master’s in Education through The Initiatives in Educational Transformation program at George Mason University in Virginia. She now works with teaching artists from around the country to develop arts integrated professional learning workshops for teachers.  Marlo will write the K-12 study guide with the support of The 369th Experience scholars.

Coleman,  Kwami T. - Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study, New York University.  He acquired his Doctor of Philosophy in Music (Musicology) at Stanford University, Stanford CA. He has presented papers / lectures at The African American Music in World Culture Conference at Boston University, Boston MA, the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco CA and the Jazz and Race, Past and Present Conference, Milton Keynes, UK. He is a member of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

Dinwiddie, Michael – Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Associate Professor,  Dramatic Writing An associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study,  New York University and taught course entitled James Reese Europe and American  Music.; Harlem Heyday: 1920-1950, Sissle, Blake and the Minstrel Tradition. As an educator, Michael will provide information for the study guide and serve as a panelist for the 14 Points web class

Dodson, Howard Director Emeritus of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, Howard Dodson brings a specialist’s knowledge not only of the history of Harlem and its Harlem-based 15th Infantry regiment but also the history of black New York. A leading scholar on African American culture and music, Howard Dodson also brings his wide ranging interests and insight to the historical significance of James Reese Europe. His publications include The Black New Yorkers (Wiley, 1999), In Motion: The African American Migration Experience (National Geographic, 2004), and Becoming American-the African American Journey (Sterling, 2009).

Francis, Jacqueline Ph.D. is an art historian, curator, and writer. Her teaching and research center upon critical questions about minority identifications in historical and contemporary US visual culture. She is the author of Making Race: Modernism and "Racial Art" in America (2012), and co-editor of Romare Bearden: American Modernist (2011). During the 2016-17 academic year, Francis is the inaugural Robert A. Corrigan Professor in Social Justice at San Francisco State University

Keene, Jennifer D. is a specialist in American military experience during World War I.  She has published three books on the American involvement in the First World War: Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America (2001), World War I: The American Soldier Experience (2011), and The United States and the First World War (2000).  She is also the lead author for an American history textbook, Visions of America: A History of the United States that uses a visual approach to teaching students U.S. history. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to France and Australia and Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship in International Studies.  She served as an associate editor for the Encyclopedia of War and American Society (2005) which won the Society of Military History's prize for best military history reference book.  She co-edited, along with Michael Neiberg of Finding Common Ground: New Directions in First World War Studies (2011).  In 2011 she won the Jack Miller Center Prize for the best military or diplomatic history essay published in Historically Speaking.  She has published numerous essays and journal articles on the war, served as an historical consultant for exhibits and films, and as an associate editor of the Journal of First World War Studies. She is currently working on several projects related to the upcoming centennial of World War I, including a new synthesis of the American experience during the war under contract with Oxford University Press. She is also a general editor for the “1914-1918-online,” peer-reviewed online encyclopedia, a major digital humanities project

Kelley, Gary – University of Northern Iowa; Faculty – Illustration Academy – Provided  illustrations for Harlem Hellfighters, Mankato, Minn: Creative Editions - illustration, 2014; The Soldiers Sang (2012), Boston Globe Horn Book honoree in 2013;  Both Books with J. Patrick Lewis (Children’s Poet Laureate); illustrated page for 12 Years A Slave (Jan/Feb 2014). Gary will support the study guide with WWI illustrations. 

Lentz-Smith, Adriane is Associate Professor of History and African & African-American Studies where she teaches courses on the black freedom struggle, the United States in the World, and modern United States history. Her book, Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I (Harvard, 2009) won the 2010 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She holds a BA in History from Harvard-Radcliffe and a PhD in History from Yale University

Morrow, John H., Jr. – Franklin Professor of History, University of Georgia,  Harlem’s Rattlers  and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for  Equality, Morrow’s co-authored book with Professor Jeffrey T. Sammons of New York University on the 369thRegiment of African-American soldiers who fought with the  French Army during the First World War, appeared in March 2014 from The University  Press of Kansas. As a expert in WWI, Dr. Morrow will provide information for the study guide and will lead several topics for the 14 Points web class.

Sammons, Jeffrey T. – Professor of History at the University of North Carolina; and coauthor of  Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African  American Quest for Equality, University Press of Kansas (2014), lead coauthor with John  H. Morrow, Jr. Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society, University of  Illinois Press (1988).  Dr. Sammons will serve as lead scholar for the study guide and the 14 Points web class.

Sissle, Noble , Jr. – Master of Education, Guidance and Counseling -   Florida A&M University - Tallahassee, FL. 1970  He served U.S. Army Infantry 1966 -1968. Mr. Sissle is the son of Harlem Hellfighter’s Nobel Sissle and will provide first hand information from his father’s book Memoir of James “Jim” Reese Europe. This primary source explains the creations of the Hell Fighters band and the eye witness account of Europe’s death.

Terry, David T. – Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Museum Studies, - Department of History  and Geography, Morgan State University. Will create a  resources guide for college students.  This guide will direct researchers to a trove of primary (archival, documentary, and literary), and secondary (articles, books, and web-based) materials germane to the topic writ large.  Not only will students have opportunities to explore resources that help them understand from first and second perspectives the lives and experiences of the men of the 369th Division, but also the broader context of their historical moment will be available as well.

Williams, Chad - Associate Professor and Chair, Department of African and Afro-American     Studies at Brandeis University and author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina  Press, 2010. Awards include Organization of American Historians 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for best book on any aspect of the struggle for civil rights in the United States, from the nation’s founding to the present.; Society for Military History 2011 Distinguished Book Award for United States History; - CHOICE 2011 Outstanding Academic Title.  Dr. Williams will chair the 14 Points web class and provide information for the study guide.




369th Experience Music Committee

Julian E. White Ph.D.

Dr. Julian Earl White, Distinguished Professor of Music, and retired Director of Bands and Chairman of the Music Department at Florida A&M University, graduated from Florida A&M University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He later received a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois, and the Doctor of Philosophy Degree from The Florida State University.

Under Dr. White’s leadership, the Florida A&M University Wind Ensemble presented a concert at the American Bandmasters Association Convention, and numerous others across the country. The internationally acclaimed “Marching 100”rendered performances at three Super Bowls, The Grammys, The ESPY nationally televised awards ceremony, CBS Game Day, and the Inaugural Parade for President Barak Obama.

Dr. White served as Drill Designer for the McDonald’s All-American High School Band. His drill creations were featured at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, and the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. His elaborate drills have also been featured on all major television networks, and the Bastille Day Ceremony in Paris, France

Dr. White is on the staff of Bowl Games of America where he designs halftime shows for College bowl games. He is also on the adjudication staff for Music Festivals, USA, and International Music Festivals. Dr. White designs halftime shows for many high school and college bands across the country.

Dr. White was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor/Advanced Teacher of the Year Award, the University Superior Teacher Accomplishment Award, and was a three time recipient of the University Teacher of the Year Award. He received the NAACP Achievement Award, The Thurgood Marshall Outstanding Achievers Award sponsored by the FED EX Orange Bowl, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kappa Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Inc., and the Richard Allen Educational Achievement Award, presented by the AME Church. Dr. White was a recipient of the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. He was also honored to receive the Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc. National Service Award, the highest award bestowed upon a member of the fraternity. John Philip Sousa was the first recipient of this honor. Dr. White is a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He is the only Director from an HBCU Band to be a member of this group of the greatest 300 band directors worldwide.

Dr. White has served as Florida Bandmasters Association District IV secretary and Chairman. He was also the Florida Music Educators Association Advisor for the College Music Educators National Conference, and Chairman of the Florida Music Education Association Black Caucus for five terms. Dr. White served seven terms as a member of the FMEA Executive Board.

Currently, he serves as Director of the Band of the Big Bend, which is sponsored by the Goodwill industries. He is a Senior Consultant with Coordinated Services for the Improvement of Education (CSIE) and serves as its Leader for the Save Our Bands Initiative. Additionally, Dr. White teaches instrumental music at Stubbs Music School in Tallahassee, Florida.

He is married to the former Dennine Mathis who serves as Flute Professor at Florida A&M University. They have one son, Julian Earl White, II. Dr. White has two daughters Tonja Mathews and Phaedra White, and two grandchildren John Burt and Mallory Mathews.


Legendary music producer and arranger H. B. Barnum has worked with an extraordinary cross-spectrum of performers in his long career. Barnum was born Hidle Brown Barnum, Jr., on July 15, 1936, in Houston, Texas. At age four, he won a nationwide talent contest for his singing and piano playing, which launched a film and radio career that included appearances on Amos ‘n’ Andy and The Jack Benny Program. Barnum recorded his first solo album at the age of fourteen as Pee Wee Barnum. He attended Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, California.

In 1955, Barnum co-founded the short-lived doo-wop group, The Dootones, at the request of Dootone label owner, Dootsie Williams. When the group broke up, he joined another doo-wop group, The Robins. Barnum began producing for The Robins in 1958, and also recorded a single on his own. Barnum had his first major hit as a producer when Dodie Stevens’ “Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces” reached the U.S. Top 5 in 1959. Although he recorded three albums during the 1960s – The Record, The Big Voice of Barnum – H. B., That Is, and Everyone Loves H. B. – Barnum, That Is – as well as the hit single “Lost Love,” his work as a producer and an arranger began to outpace his musical career. Barnum’s reputation flourished after he joined Capitol Records, where he often worked in collaboration with producer and longtime friend David Axelrod, forging an innovative orchestral jazz-funk sensibility much copied and sampled in later decades. Barnum has arranged for many notable musicians including Gladys Knight & The Pips, Johnny Bristol, Lamont Dozier, Jimmy Norman, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Etta James, Nancy Wilson, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Marvelettes, O.C. Smith, Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, The Supremes, Al Wilson, B.B. King and Puff Daddy. By the mid-1970s, Barnum switched from pop music to television, scoring countless series and specials in addition to composing numerous advertising jingles. He won international awards for his musical compositions for commercials. Barnum has claimed to be responsible for around 100 gold LPs and 160 gold singles.

Beginning in 1967, Barnum has held an annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless in his Los Angeles community. In 1981, he founded and began directing H. B. Barnum’s Life Choir, a large well-known gospel group that assists him in helping feed nearly one thousand needy people every Thanksgiving. Barnum has also served as minister of music at St. Paul’s Baptist Church of Los Angeles.


Bobby Sanabria is a seven time Grammy nominated drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, educator, film-maker, bandleader, and multi-cultural warrior. He has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Candido, Henry Threadgill, Larry Harlow, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz, Mario Bauzá. His first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!! was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001 bringing Mr. Sanabria worldwide acclaim for his revolutionary forward thinking vision while being built on a bedrock of tradition. His 2008 Grammy nominated, Big Band Urban Folktales was the first Latin jazz recording to ever reach #1 in the national Jazz Week charts. In 2009 the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra he directs at the Manhattan School of Music was nominated for a Latin Grammy for its tribute to Mario Bauzá and Machito for Kenya Revisited Live!!!, a reworking of the music for Machito’s greatest album, Kenya, on its 50thanniversary. In 2011 The recording Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! by the same orchestra was nominated for Latin Jazz Grammy by the Latin Grammys. Mr. Sanabria’s 2012 recording, inspired by the writings of Mexican author Octavio Paz, is entitled MULTIVERSE and features his incredible 19 piece big band. DRUM! Magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2005; and he was also named 2011 Percussionist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. This South Bronx native of Puerto Rican parentage is a 2006 inductee into the Bronx Walk of Fame where he has a street named after him on the borough’s Grand Concourse. He holds a BM from the Berklee College of Music and is on the faculty of the New School and the Manhattan School of Music where he conducts Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Bands at both schools. He is associate producer of the TV documentaries, The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King shown on BRAVO, winner of the IMAGINE award for Best TV documentary of 2003; and PBS’ From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, ALMA Award winner for Best TV Documentary in 2006.




Educational Initiative


Explore connections between music, history, literature & the arts to bring stories of 100 years ago to reality for the youth of today
​Emphasize the aesthetic and cultural transformation of Jazz in the World War One era​
The goal is to reach more than 10 million Generation Z students and Millennials through virtual classroom materials and online media


With the purpose of preserving the history and cultural memory of Americans who fought and lived through World War One, especially those associated with the 369thRegiment, nicknamed the Harlem Hell fighters , several educational projects are planned for students in K-12, college and for the general public.  This history will be shared with students of all ages, libraries and museums across the nation through the study of historical accounts, literature, poetry, and a unique musical experience reenacting the historic 369th Infantry Regimental marching band. We will explore the aesthetic and cultural transformation of Jazz in the World War One era.  Each aspect of the educational initiative will delve into history through an interdisciplinary approach exploring connections between history, literature, and the arts to bring stories of a hundred years ago to reality for the youth of today. The Commission’s goal is to reach more than 10 million Generation Z students and Millennials  through virtual classroom materials and other internet-driven media including texts, videos, images and interactive activities.  We will also share curriculum resources, study guides and teachers’ guides with more than 600,000 educators and scholars through the HISTORY e-mail newsletters. The 369th Experience and the Coca-Cola Foundation will team up to identify world war one experts, historians, and consultants  to  create and produce the K-12 study guide and Resources Guide. 


  1. A study guide for K-12 and college students across the nation. This guide will address national standards including National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects Writing, as well as National Core Arts Standards. Curriculum-based units will focus on various perspectives of the historical time including the study of musical breakthroughs and innovations of the 369th, women and life on the home-front, as well as the experiences of other American wartime divisions.

  2. Grade-level appropriate studies will be based on literature such as Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality by Sammons and Morrow, poetry, as well as various supporting historical documents. Interviews and personal testimonies from the 369th Experience descendants will be available from Noble Sissle, Jr. and James Reese Europe, III & IV.

  3. To support scholarly engagement by undergraduate and graduate students of the themes explored in The 369th Experience’s a Resources Guide will be created by Dr. David Taft Terry, Asst. Professor, Museum Studies & Historical Preservation, Department of History and Geography at Morgan State University. This guide will direct researchers to a trove of primary (archival, documentary, and literary), and secondary (articles, books, and web-based) materials germane to the topic writ large. Not only will students have opportunities to explore resources that help them understand from first and second perspectives the lives and experiences of the men of the 369th Division, but also the broader context of their historical moment will be available as well.




Join the Celebration


Beginning in November 2016, 75 freshmen and sophomore music students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other colleges and universities across America will be selected to join the band. Students chosen for the final band will be announced in January 2017.


Participants will take part in a series of commemorative events culminating with performances at historic sites across the United States and Europe. This is your opportunity to pay special tribute to the men who sacrificed so much and inspired so many.


Complete the online application for your chance to make history! Click here or copy the link to apply today. https://369thexperience.submittable.com


The official application for The 369th Experience Band should include the following:

A digital audition video
Form 1: Completed and Signed 369th Experience Band – Membership Application
Form 2: Completed, Initialed and Signed 369th Experience Band Member – Preparation/Rules of Conduct, Understanding & Acknowledgement
Form 3: Completed and Signed 369th Experience Band Member Release
Form 4: Signed 369th Experience Band Audition Video Submission Instructions
Apply Online. There is a non-refundable payment Application Processing Fee of $3.69.

Completed Application Forms must be submitted online.

Once selected, participants must adhere to the following academic and performance progress guidelines:

  1. Maintain good standing with the student's respective university
  2. Maintain full time enrollment (minimum 12 hours) status each semester with no incomplete's (I), withdrawals or failing grades
  3. Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5
  4. Students must agree to a background check from law enforcement agencies from their hometown and/or the city where their educational institution is located.

In order to receive the $1,500 scholarship, students must complete the required educational units and participate in all program events and activities.




369th Experience

Contact: 369th@worldwar1centennial.org

Program Overview

The 369th Experience is part of a series of events endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission and sponsored in part by The Coca Cola Foundation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.


A break and another idea

"Pershing" Donors

$5 Million +

Founding Sponsor
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The Lilly Endowment