African Americans Invented Memorial Day
Posted by JOE WINDISH, Technology Editor in Society, War
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According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed by formerly enslaved black people at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston, South Carolina. The race course had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp in 1865 as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died there. Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reinterred them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Union graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first "Decoration Day".
David W. Blight in his own words from The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877, lecture 19, To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings:
Buffalo Black Soldiers:
“Inside Buffalo” is an Award winning film documentary , Best Documentary at Black International Cinema Berlin 2009, about the untold history of the 92nd Buffalo Soldiers Division, the all African American segregated combat unit which fought during World War II in Italy. The Italian-Ghanaian director Fred Kuwornu has been inspired in producing and directing the first film work about the 92nd Division after his meeting with Spike Lee on the set of his film “Miracle at St. Anna “ shot in Italy where he worked as assistant. It’s the first film work about the Buffalo Soldiers in World War II told collocating the plot in the contest of the struggle for the Civil Rights and telling for the first time the untold friendship and bond built at the time between African American Soldiers and Italians. These 92nd veterans fought for many things, fueled by their love of freedom and their passion for their country. Many of them sacrificed their lives to buy freedom and civil rights for future generations. It is important that their work is never forgotten.
A narrator carries the program forward; historical photographs, documents and re-enactment footage illustrate the unique contributions of these men. These elements are complemented by interviews with contemporary African-American soldiers who served in World War II. Courtesy appearance by President Barack Obama . Texas Black Film Festival and Pan African Film Festival 2010 in Los Angeles has been officially selected the documentary. “Inside Buffalo” will be shown in New York and will be aired on Pentagon channel .The project will be on tour around the schools and colleges of US, inviting African-Americans 92nd WW II veterans in front of the eyes of the students to” make the history alive”!
The DVD, Inside Buffalo is available only in these days at the special offer 9.95 $ at http://www.insidebuffalo.org/ and at http://www.amazon.com/