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▣ The Civil War Sesquicentennial Observances

posted by Joseph Certaine on October 15th, 2009 at 12:40 PM

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April 12, 2011 will mark the beginning of a five-year period observance of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. During the 50th Anniversary Commemoration in 1911, black Americans were still being brutalized, lynched, shot, driven off their land and away from their businesses for having had the audacity to fight for their own freedom. The Black Codes were still in effect and Jim Crow was everywhere. The South was romanticizing the "Lost Cause" which was readily embraced by the North in the spirit of reconciliation. Black Americans were still being treated as inferior less than human individuals, who had no place in any public discourse much less the planning of public commemorations.

During the 100th Anniversay Commemoration in 1961,  Black Americans were fully involved in stopping the punishment being inflicted upon them as a result of their now 300 year old quest for freedom. We were engaged in direct action campaigns for equal justice and social equality and we were mobilizing politically. We were still being lynched and brutalized at will, in many places in the country. There was no time for involvement in planning to commemorate a struggle for freedom that had not yet been recognized in the North or the South. We were engulfed in a not so non-violent revolution to ensure our rights as equals.

Now comes the 150th Anniversary Commemoration. It is time now, to be recognized and acknowledged for our courageous efforts to overthrow  the slavemasters and obtain our own freedom and to also save the Union of the United States of America . We have earned the right to be included in the planning of the public commemoration activities that will highlight the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War.  We can no longer allow some to pretend that our freedom was given to us. W e must be recognized for having fought and died for everything we now enjoy, even with the limitations that some continue to try to impose. Our sons and daughters must know that everything we have and seek has been earned throgh blood,  in defence of the Union that is the United States of America. So get involved, especially if you are a descendant of a black Union soldier who was in the United States Colored Troops.    

last edited on October 16th, 2009 at 11:51 AM

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