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Standing in Their Own Light by
Call Number: E269.N3 V36 2017
Publication Date: 2017-03-23
The Revolutionary War encompassed at least two struggles: one for freedom from British rule, and another, quieter but no less significant fight for the liberty of African Americans, thousands of whom fought in the Continental Army. Because these veterans left few letters or diaries, their story has remained largely untold, and the significance of their service largely unappreciated. Standing in Their Own Light restores these African American patriots to their rightful place in the historical struggle for independence and the end of racial oppression. Revolutionary era African Americans began their lives in a world that hardly questioned slavery; they finished their days in a world that increasingly contested the existence of the institution. Judith L. Van Buskirk traces this shift to the wartime experiences of African Americans. Mining firsthand sources that include black veterans' pension files, Van Buskirk examines how the struggle for independence moved from the battlefield to the courthouse--and how personal conflicts contributed to the larger struggle against slavery and legal inequality. Black veterans claimed an American identity based on their willing sacrifice on behalf of American independence. And abolitionists, citing the contributions of black soldiers, adopted the tactics and rhetoric of revolution, personal autonomy, and freedom. Van Buskirk deftly places her findings in the changing context of the time. She notes the varied conditions of slavery before the war, the different degrees of racial integration across the Continental Army, and the war's divergent effects on both northern and southern states. Her efforts retrieve black patriots' experiences from historical obscurity and reveal their importance in the fight for equal rights--even though it would take another war to end slavery in the United States.
Black Soldiers in Blue by
Call Number: E540.N3 B63 2002
Publication Date: 2002-11-11
Inspired and informed by the latest research in African American, military, and social history, the fourteen original essays in this book tell the stories of the African American soldiers who fought for the Union cause. An introductory essay surveys the history of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) from emancipation to the end of the Civil War. Seven essays focus on the role of the USCT in combat, chronicling the contributions of African Americans who fought at Port Hudson, Milliken's Bend, Olustee, Fort Pillow, Petersburg, Saltville, and Nashville. Other essays explore the recruitment of black troops in the Mississippi Valley; the U.S. Colored Cavalry; the military leadership of Colonels Thomas Higginson, James Montgomery, and Robert Shaw; African American chaplain Henry McNeal Turner; the black troops who occupied postwar Charleston; and the experiences of USCT veterans in postwar North Carolina. Collectively, these essays probe the broad military, political, and social significance of black soldiers' armed service, enriching our understanding of the Civil War and African American life during and after the conflict. The contributors are Anne J. Bailey, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr., John Cimprich, Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Richard Lowe, Thomas D. Mays, Michael T. Meier, Edwin S. Redkey, Richard Reid, William Glenn Robertson, John David Smith, Noah Andre Trudeau, Keith Wilson, and Robert J. Zalimas Jr.
Thunder at the Gates by
Call Number: E492.9 .E35 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
An intimate, authoritative history of the first black soldiers to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War Soon after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, abolitionists began to call for the creation of black regiments. At first, the South and most of the North responded with outrage-southerners promised to execute any black soldiers captured in battle, while many northerners claimed that blacks lacked the necessary courage. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, long the center of abolitionist fervor, launched one of the greatest experiments in American history. In Thunder at the Gates, Douglas Egerton chronicles the formation and battlefield triumphs of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry and the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry-regiments led by whites but composed of black men born free or into slavery. He argues that the most important battles of all were won on the field of public opinion, for in fighting with distinction the regiments realized the long-derided idea of full and equal citizenship for blacks. A stirring evocation of this transformative episode, Thunder at the Gates offers a riveting new perspective on the Civil War and its legacy.
Emancipation's Diaspora by
Call Number: E 185.93 I54 S34 2009
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
Most studies of emancipation's consequences have focused on the South. Moving the discussion to the North, Leslie Schwalm enriches our understanding of the national impact of the transition from slavery to freedom. Emancipation's Diaspora follows the lives and experiences of thousands of men and women who liberated themselves from slavery, made their way to overwhelmingly white communities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and worked to live in dignity as free women and men and as citizens. Schwalm explores the hotly contested politics of black enfranchisement as well as collisions over segregation, civil rights, and the more informal politics of race--including how slavery and emancipation would be remembered and commemorated. She examines how gender shaped the politics of race, and how gender relations were contested and negotiated within the black community. Based on extensive archival research, Emancipation's Diaspora shows how in churches and schools, in voting booths and Masonic temples, in bustling cities and rural crossroads, black and white Midwesterners--women and men--shaped the local and national consequences of emancipation.
Unexampled Courage by
Call Number: E185.61 .G377 2019
Publication Date: 2019-01-22
A 2019 NPR Staff Pick How the blinding of Sergeant Isaac Woodard changed the course of America's civil rights history On February 12, 1946, Sergeant Isaac Woodard, a returning, decorated African American veteran, was removed from a Greyhound bus in Batesburg, South Carolina, after he challenged the bus driver's disrespectful treatment of him. Woodard, in uniform, was arrested by the local police chief, Lynwood Shull, and beaten and blinded while in custody. President Harry Truman was outraged by the incident. He established the first presidential commission on civil rights and his Justice Department filed criminal charges against Shull. In July 1948, following his commission's recommendation, Truman ordered an end to segregation in the U.S. armed forces. An all-white South Carolina jury acquitted Shull, but the presiding judge, J. Waties Waring, was conscience-stricken by the failure of the court system to do justice by the soldier. Waring described the trial as his "baptism of fire," and began issuing major civil rights decisions from his Charleston courtroom, including his 1951 dissent in Briggs v. Elliott declaring public school segregation per se unconstitutional. Three years later, the Supreme Court adopted Waring's language and reasoning in Brown v. Board of Education. Richard Gergel's Unexampled Courage details the impact of the blinding of Sergeant Woodard on the racial awakening of President Truman and Judge Waring, and traces their influential roles in changing the course of America's civil rights history.
From Slaves to Soldiers by
Call Number: E269.N3 G42 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-30
Known as the "Black" Regiment, the Story of the First Continental Army Unit Composed of African American and Native American Enlisted Men In December 1777, the Continental army was encamped at Valley Forge and faced weeks of cold and hunger, as well as the prospect of many troops leaving as their terms expired in the coming months. If the winter were especially cruel, large numbers of soldiers would face death or contemplate desertion. Plans were made to enlist more men, but as the states struggled to fill quotas for enlistment, Rhode Island general James Mitchell Varnum proposed the historic plan that a regiment of slaves might be recruited from his own state, the smallest in the union, but holding the largest population of slaves in New England. The commander-in-chief's approval of the plan would set in motion the forming of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. The "black regiment," as it came to be known, was composed of indentured servants, Narragansett Indians, and former slaves. This was not without controversy. While some in the Rhode Island Assembly and in other states railed that enlisting slaves would give the enemy the impression that not enough white men could be raised to fight the British, owners of large estates gladly offered their slaves and servants, both black and white, in lieu of a son or family member enlisting. The regiment fought with distinction at the battle of Rhode Island, and once joined with the 2nd Rhode Island before the siege of Yorktown in 1781, it became the first integrated battalion in the nation's history. In From Slaves to Soldiers: The 1st Rhode Island Regiment in the American Revolution, historian Robert A. Geake tells the important story of the "black regiment" from the causes that led to its formation, its acts of heroism and misfortune, as well as the legacy left by those men who enlisted to earn their freedom.
African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign by
Call Number: E475.51 .P18 2013
Publication Date: 2012-08-07
African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign by James M. Paradis (Scarecrow, 2005) / 128 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 / $32.00 (paper) LTD (paper): 927 units; $16,043.17; 19 in stock