The Passport Of A Young African-American Issued in Germany

The Passport Of A Young African-American Issued in Germany

Over the past 30 years, the share of U.S. citizens holding a passport has increased dramatically. Last year, a grand total of 21.4 million passports were issued in the U.S., the highest number ever recorded. Putting that number into perspective, a mere 6.3 million were issued back in 1997. That year, only 15 percent of Americans possessed a passport, though that’s still far more than in 1990 when just four percent had one, according to the BBC. The share of the U.S. population with a passport stood at 27 percent in 2007 and that has now increased to 42 percent. As impressive as recent growth has been, the share of passport holders still lags far behind other developed countries. In Canada, 66 percent of people had a passport in 2016 while in the UK, 76 percent of people in England and Wales have one.

But for an African-American at the end of the 1950’s it was surely not common to hold a passport. Meet John Clifton Duncan, Jr. from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John was quite exactly 16 years young when his passport was issued at the American consulate in Munich, Germany. John was a dependent of a member of the American military or naval forces or a dependent of a civilian employee of the Government on active duty outside the continental limits of the United States, as the stamp on page 5 indicates. His US passport was not valid for Hungary as also indicated on page 5. This limitation was normal those days. Included is also the official letter of the White House – not the passport office with a reminder that “…you represent America abroad”.

 

  • The Passport Of A Young African-American Issued in Germany
    Included is also the official letter of the White House - not the passport office with a remainder that "...you represent America abroad".

 

Very interesting is the red large stamp, a certificate which is stating also he is a member or dependent of a member of the forces and is entitled to unrestricted entry into and exit from the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin. Issued by the United States Army, Europe Southern Area Command Munich in November 1959. This stamp clearly shows the “occupational” or “protective” power of the US Army in post war Germany.

 

 

The Passport Of A Young African-American Issued in Germany

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