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posted by Joseph Certaine on September 4th, 2010 at 3:31 PM

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Later this month,  the United States Colored Troops Living History Association will elect new officers and set the stage for USCT participation in the Sesquicentennial Observance of the American Civil War.  The organization will need to find a way to be of service to the existing members and expand beyond the small group of aging hobbyists who currently engage in USCT historical interpretation.  One thing thing that will need to happen is a  recruitment campaign.

Individuals and small groups of Civil War history enthusiasts will need to be solicited, recruited and trained by the current group of Infantry, Artillery and Cavalry reenactors. Units will need to learn how to raise much needed funds for uniforms, equipment and interpretive venues. Some of the work can be coordinated by the umbrella organization but much of it must be handled at the grassroots level with support from the black community. Our partners in presenting his history must be the traditional leadership institutions within our own communities, not the traditional sources of public funding we have become so used to soliciting. The only obstacle is, that many of these institutions have had no real opportunity  for exposure to the history of the United States Colored Troops. So, one of the first orders of business for the new officers of the USCTLHA will have to be public education.

The leaders and board members of our major black institutions must be urged to provide opportunities for history education and venues for historical interpretation of the USCT and its legacy.  During the next two years, we'll be encouraging historical interpretation of USCT events in local community venues along with follow-up recruitment campaigns at churches, community meetings, family re-unions, appropriate social events and membership meetings of Greek organizations, Civil Rights organizations, civic associations etc.  Of course,  we'll run into a barrel full of apathy each time we make the attempt , but that's no reason not to  pursue new recruits.

An aggressive recruitment campaign for the USCT should be the top priority of the new leaders of the USCTLHA. It is the only way the United States Colored Troops will have enough reenactors to effectively commemorate our role in saving the Union and destroying the system of enslavement  during our long march toward Jubilee. Check out www.descendantsjubileeproject.com for more information.     

last edited on September 4th, 2010 at 3:45 PM

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