He sat at the conference table next to Frederick Douglass as they tried to convince President Abraham Lincoln that African Americans should be allowed to fight for their own freedom. He served five terms in Congress. He ran a newspaper and helped found a state Republican Party. But first, he had to win his freedom. To do that, he conceived a plan that struck a blow against the Confederacy so significant that he was heralded across the nation. Carrying out his mission required bravery, intelligence and precision timing — attributes that many whites at that time thought blacks didn’t possess. Robert Smalls proved them wrong and changed history in the doing.Follow the link to read the rest. Meanwhile, American Experience on PBS is showing a three part series on the Abolitionists. The first two parts can be viewed online, while the third will air this upcoming week. (Seeing Lincoln made me long for a good Frederick Douglass biopic, and PBS delivers a taste of that.) For the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. himself, check out the MLK archive or a number of other blogs today.
Monday, January 21, 2013
MLK Day 2013
This year, I wanted to pass on two thematically-appropriate pieces on the Civil War era. The first is an intriguing story from Avis Thomas-Lester in The Washington Post, "Civil War Hero Robert Smalls Seized the Opportunity to Be Free":