John Anderson and Jarvis Rosier’s impersonations of Fredrick Douglass and an everyday black soldier in the Civil War captivated the audience with eyewitness accounts of struggle, fear and courage.
“The slaves were a part of the natural order of things and they had the same skills as white Americans had,” said Anderson, the Douglass impersonator and a 2nd infantry regiment USCT. “Fredrick Douglass played a profound role in the Civil War. He represented a number of things that are kind of misunderstood. He showed this country that not only are we human beings but because of our presence here, our participation, our labors, our skills and our intelligence, we deserve to be a part of this country.”
This year the United States begins its five-year celebration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The sesquicentennial anniversary will show the mass contributions of blacks and their role in the military.
Friday, Florida A&M University’s Student Government Association teamed with the Carrie Meek- James N. Eaton Sr. Black Archives Research Center and Museum to bring students and the community together in celebration of Black History Month.
Commissioner William Proctor and Ola S. Lamar, faculty administrator & director in the Department of Research Communications, presided over the event.
“It was such an humbling privilege to preside over the event,” said Lamar. “It is important for our students to be inspired to come to these events so they can expand their knowledge and learn outside of the classroom.”
“Forever Brave: A Community Celebration of the African- American Military Experience” celebrated and recognized the black contributions to the war through music, historical re-enactments and dramatic interpretations.
Also on Friday, the revealing of a new and special exhibition, “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: African Americans during the Civil War,” opened. The exhibition is an educational tool for students as well as citizens.
The purpose of the event was to honor and expose, share the contributions, and sacrifices African Americans have made for this country for so long.