Note: the following comes from North Bay Media Review.com.
Mildred Harrison: First Black American Woman Imprisoned in Vietnam
New York 2002
Imagine if you were locked away in a foreign prison for three days. You share a cell with people you barely know, uncertain when or if you’ll ever see freedom again. Then be dismayed if the people who put you away are from a country which is an ally of the United States.
Sounds impossible to be true? Not for Mildred Harrison. It happened to her and in her book, Mildred Harrison: First Black American Woman Imprisoned in Vietnam, it was very true. Although the book is only 63 pages long, and doesn’t offer the ‘shock’ value of contemporary novels, reading Mrs. Harrison’s story will make you cry, make you weep and provokes anger. The book begins with Mrs. Harrison, an entertainer who desires to perform for the troops stationed in South Vietnam. What she finds is something she had not prepared for. A brief detainment with Vietnamese customs begins a nightmare for Mrs. Harrison which will test her faith and spirit as she holds out hope for her release from prison.
I found this book to be a testament of what happens to normal Americans, even those sent to encourage our boys in uniform, in other countries where there are no rules, no sense of protection and no hope. The reader will discover, as I unfortunately did, of the government’s reaction to Mrs. Harrison’s plight and after all these years, how she coped with her ordeal. Mildred Harrison may not be provocative as modern tell-all books, but this is one book everyone needs to read and learn from.
Charles L. Chatmon
Author of The Depths of My Soul and The Voices of South Central