Here's the design of that Henry Johnson commemorative medallion (All Over Albany)
The following article originally appeared in All Over Albany.
posted Jun 21, 2018
Here's that how that coin-shaped medallion to honor Henry Johnson turned out. It will debut at a free event at The Palace June 27 at 5:30 pm.
The silver medal was created by the local Ferris Coin Co. And the design -- a product of national contest -- is by Chris Costello, who's designed many coins and medals for the US Mint. A quarter he designed honoring the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island will be released later this year. (Another bit about Costello: He's the creator of the Papyrus typeface.) Costello will be at the Palace event.
Ferris is making 500 of the coins/medals. Ten of those have been set aside for the winners of the city of Albany's Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service. This year's winner -- Jahkeen Hoke, the founder of the org 4th Family -- received one of the medals last month at the award ceremony.
The company is also selling the coins. They're $29.95 at the Palace event. Two dollars of that will benefit the 369th Veterans Association of Albany.
It was 100 years this year that Henry Johnson, serving in France with the famed Harlem Hellfighters, fought off a surprise German attack of at least 12 soldiers and saved a fellow American soldier, all while being wounded multiple times. Upon his return to the United States he was initially hailed as a hero. But he was later marginalized after speaking out about the racism African-Americans faced in the military. Unable to work because of his war injuries, Johnson's personal life crumbled and he died in 1929 while still in his 30s. He's buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2015 Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House.