Side A: At the time of his death in 1922, Colonel Charles Young was the highest ranking African American officer in the United States Army. In 1894, almost five years after graduating West Point, then thirty year-old 2nd Lt. Young was appointed professor of Military Science and Tactics at Wilberforce University. Young organized the military science department and established the university’s marching band. He also taught other courses, including French, chemistry, and geology. Young was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1896. (Continued other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) When Young left Wilberforce in 1898, its cadet corps comprised 113 members, 14 of which later joined his new command of the Ninth Ohio Battalion. He motivated students to rise to the “Talented Tenth” of African American leaders, so called by Young’s colleague and friend W.E.B. Du Bois. Among many accomplishments, Young was elected the second honorary member of Omega Psi Phi in 1912 and awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1916, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s highest honor.