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▣ The emerging face of the Civil War Sesquicentennial

posted by Joseph Certaine on August 6th, 2010 at 11:41 AM

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During my absence from writing,  I've had many conversations with black historians, and reenactors who have determined that the Civil War Sesquicentennial is emerging as an exercise in academic scholarship in the Northern States and as an opportunity for regional tourism in the states that comprise the Old Confederacy. They feel (and I concur) that the opportunities for finally including the true history of black Americans. during this important period of American history, will be non-existant.

Even in states like Pennsylvania, which had  a very aggressive community of black abolitionists and anti-slavery activists that produced eleven black regiments of Infantry, there is a prevailing attitude that outside of a limited appeal to tourists, there is no need to plan the Pennsylvania observance with the black community in mind.

Although there are an infinite number of stories within our communities that should be told, we are spending an inordinate amount of time trying to have the folks who hold the public pursestrings, pay attention to us and our history.

It is time for that to stop. We have a full two years to raise money and plan the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the formation of the United States Colored Troops. We must raise the necessary funds and present a two year celebration of accomplishments beginning with Watch Night (December 31, 2012) through Juneteenth (June 19, 2015).

We must commemorate and celebrate each major battle where the USCT played a significant role, as well as important dates of accomplishment within our own communities that  reenforced our march toward Jubilee. At each opportunity we must educate the public about our military role as well as what our communities did to defeat the Confederacy and win freedom from slavery.

Let's stop this nonsense of always standing "hat in hand" waiting for the opportunity to plead our case. We must "seize the times" and move forward with an observance that features our contributions toward protecting the Union and defeating the slavemasters. This does not require large amounts of money but it does require a strong commitment to celebrate our ongoing march to true Freedom.

 

last edited on August 6th, 2010 at 1:09 PM

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