About The Adventures of Arthur 'Soldier Boy Grip' Taylor
The Adventures of Arthur 'Soldier Boy Grip' Taylor: On Meeting Gen. Benjamin Davis
Arthur Taylor, Sr.
"The Adventures of Soldier Boy Grip" is a comic strip based on and inspired by the true life story of my maternal grandfather, Arthur 'Soldier Boy Grip' Taylor, who served during World War 2 as a member of the legendary Red Ball Express, a unit of mostly African American Army truck drivers that delivered supplies including food, oil and ammunition while dodging sniper bullets and enemy bombs to the rapidly advancing Allied forces in Europe post D Day led by General Patton and the 3rd Army...
The strip is a combination of a number of sources including my grandfather's own brilliant photographic recollections of serving in the Army as well as documentaries and books about the war...I also found inspiration in pop culture sources such as the play and movie A Soldier's Story,the movie The Dirty Dozen,the comics Boondocks and Beetle Bailey,Langston Hughes' Jesse B. Semple short stories, and the t.v. shows M*A*S*H,Sanford and Son, Hogan's Heroes among others...The purpose of my comic strip is to shine light on racial relations at that time (the 40s), to show that some 'band of brothers' were not always welcomed by their country as heroes let alone citizens...
Another reason I created the comic strip was to pay tribute to the many Black men and women (including my beautiful grandfather),who did their jobs efficiently and honorably regardless of the societal mess they had to endure...For example, although my grandfather was 100% disabled from the war, he did not began to receive his veterans' pay until 1955,10 years after the war ended!!! He also did not receive all his medals as well, but my mom fought tirelessly eventually contacting the offices of our former U.S. congressman (Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.) who helped to get several of his medals which he presented to my overjoyed grandfather in 1998...
I also wanted to make people aware of certain historical Black figures who figured prominently during that time period, but some nevertheless are not well known by our younger generation...People such as Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson,Dr. Charles Drew, George Stinney Jr.,Gen.Benjamin Davis Sr.,Gen. Benjamin Davis Jr.,Mary McLeod Bethune,A. Phillip Randolph,the Scottsboro Boys,war hero Dorie Miller, Marian Anderson,Paul Robeson,and musician Lester'PREZ' Young among other notables will be featured from time to time...
Hopefully through this effort people will get inspired to research history and learn more about the 1.2 million Black men and women that served in World War 2 and the other contribution Blacks have made in the past and continue to make in the present...Please feel free o visit the official site via the following link:
Artistically and Blackliciously yours,
Bro. Ron aka r2c2h2 tha artivist