By Lindsay Graham
Raised in Ybor City, a Cuban neighborhood inside Tampa, Fla., Evelio Grillo attended black segregated schools and grew up with black role models.
"Black Cubans were closer to black Americans and white Cubans were closer to white Americans," Grillo said. "We became culturally African American."
He went on to attend Dunbar High, an all-black high school in Washington, D.C., and attended Xavier University, a college for black students in New Orleans, La. He then was drafted into the Army to serve in a "colored" unit in the China-Burma-India Theater.