It is for these reasons and others that Powell's career is peppered with internal and social challenges that do not always jive with those who surround and work with him. In fact Stephen, contends that Powell's star shined only weakly, despite his cabinet appointments (which he and some others believe may have been token appointments) until he was given the monstrous task of finding solace and resolution with the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Stephen 38) Powell's now extensive career in both the military and as a politician give rise tot the idea that Stephen might be off kilter in his assessment, as Powell sought and achieved appointment and positioning much farther back than his Bush, Secretary of State appointment. Prior to this time he held the military position of a four star general, the highest rank then achieved by an African-American, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell, unlike many others whe serve high office under presidents was an is extremely open about his position of varied topics, not the least of which is his modern rejection of many Bush decisions, including but not limited to his voice of disgust at the developments of the Guantanamo military prison.
b. New York City, grad., City College (B.S., 1958); George Washington Univ. (M.A., 1969). The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was the first African-American and the youngest person to chair (1989-93) the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first African-American to serve (2001-5) as secretary of state. He entered the U.S. army (1958) as a commissioned officer and served two tours of duty (1962-63, 1968-69) during the Vietnam War. In the 1970s he worked in several staff positions in the White House, including in the Office of Management and Budget, and also served in military command positions. In 1979 he was made a major general and the military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, a position he held until 1981, when he assumed command of the 4th Infantry Division. From 1983 to 1986 Powell was military assistant to the secretary of defense, and in 1986 he served as commander of the V Corps in Western Europe. The next year he was named assistant to the president for national security affairs. In 1989, Powell was promoted to four-star general, becoming the first African-American to hold that rank, and was named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had an important role in planning the American invasion of Panama in late 1989, and prior to the Persian Gulf War (1991) he played a crucial role in planning and coordinating the victory of U.S. And allied forces. He declined to run for the U.S. presidency in 1995, despite widespread encouragement to do so, and in 1997 became chairman of America's Promise -- the Alliance for Youth, a charitable organization formed to help needy and at-risk U.S. children. Powell was appointed secretary of state by President George W. Bush in 2001. He advocated the so-called Powell doctrine -- that U.S. military power only be used in overwhelming strength to achieve well-defined strategic national interests -- while promoting "a uniquely American internationalism," and he also showed a particular interest in African affairs. As secretary of state, however, his influence on foreign policy issues was not as great as that of National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice (who succeeded him in 2005), Vice President Dick Cheney, and others. ("Powell, Colin Luther")
Powell's career and history in many ways speaks for itself and is very much defensible against any presumed marginalization of appointment based on his appearance, though e clearly is open to the idea that he went far because he did not personally challenge the status quo. It is clear that, he vicariously has developed his parent's wish to capture a piece of the American Dream, which is out of the grasp of many immigrants in their own time but does occasionally end well with first and second generation immigrant children. It is also clear that despite Powell's lack of desire to follow higher education as his subscribed path to success he instead followed a path that led him to a high place.
Powell, Colin Luther." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2007.
Mann James, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, New York: Penguin Publishing, 2004.
Mihalkanin, Edward S., ed. American Statesmen: Secretaries of State from John Jay to Colin…