Tag Archives: black history

The Uncertain Promise of Freedom’s Light: Black Soldiers in The Civil War | Around The Mall

Black soldiers could not officially join the Union army until the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. But, on the ground, they had been fighting and dying from the beginning.

When three escaped slaves arrived at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, in May, 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler had to make a choice. Under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, he was compelled to return the men into the hands of the slaveowner. But Virginia had just signed the ordinances of secession. Butler determined that he was now operating in a foreign territory and declared the men “contraband of war.”

When more enslaved men, women and children arrived at the fort, Butler wrote to Washington for advice. In these early days of the Civil War, Lincoln avoided… The Uncertain Promise of Freedom’s Light: Black Soldiers in The Civil War | Around The Mall.

Smithsonian Online Exhibit: Separate is *not* Equal

ATM-Object-Greensboro-Woolworth-lunch-counter-631February is Black History Month and the National Museum of American History is marking the event with its online exhibit: Stories of Freedom & Justice. As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro, NC Woolworth sit-in, the event has taken a special place at the Smithsonian.

The online exhibit includes numerous stories, first hand accounts, and images from that fateful event in which four young African-American college students sat at a “white’s only” lunch counter and refused to move, sparking a six month movement that would ultimately pave the way for Civil Rights in the state of North Carolina.

To learn more about the Civil Rights movement in America, to see more images and/or videos, and to access teaching resources, see the online exhibit.