Frederic Douglass I

Lead: "All the other speakers seemed tame after Frederick Douglass. He stood there like an African Prince, majestic in his wrath."Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Elizabeth Cady Stanton knew her activists. It was an age of moral agitation and she would go on to great fame at the side of Susan B. Anthony in the service of women's rights. That day in the mid-1800s when Frederick Douglass spoke to an antislavery meeting in Boston, Stanton was as moved as the rest at the sound of his voice and the moral imperative of his message.

Douglass was an escaped slave. Raised by his grandmother on a Chesapeake Bay plantation, at the age of six he began his work under Captain Aaron Anthony, the white farm manager and, so some of the slaves said, Frederick's father. In later years, he would make vivid to audiences throughout the North the picture of life as a slave.

Miss Maggie Walker of Richmond

Lead: One of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century was the daughter of an ex-slave.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Turn-of-the-century Richmond, Virginia had come back from the Civil War. With their city the Black Community of Richmond was enjoying a comparable renaissance. Blacks owned and operated stables, retail stores, restaurants and were making an important contribution to the industrial growth of the New South.


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Buffalo Soldiers II (African American Soldiers after the Civil War)


Lead: During the Indian wars, the Buffalo Soldiers, units made up of African Americans, served with great distinction.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Of the Native American clans who inhabited the West during the white settlement of the frontier, none were more resistant than the Apache. Unlike northern plains Indians, Sioux, Cheyenne, or Commanche, who fought mostly to keep miners, ranchers and hunters off their reserved territory, the Apache had lived for centuries alongside Spanish and then Mexican villages, sometimes attacking, sometimes trading with their white neighbors. They were consummate mountain guerrilla warriors, able to spring from ambushes with deadly effect and then cleverly elude their pursuers.

Buffalo Soldiers I (African American Soldiers after the Civil War)

Lead: Following the Civil War, U.S. Army regiments made up of African American soldiers proved themselves among the most efficient and professional fighting men in the Indian Wars.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the Civil War over 180,000 blacks served in volunteer regiments fighting with the U.S. Army. They filled out units and even comprised one entire corps, the 25th, which helped occupy Richmond in the closing days of the war. Despite valiant and faithful service in the face of great danger, no African American troops were allowed to serve in regular army units. That all changed in the summer of 1866 when four infantry and two cavalry regiments were created by Congress to be made up exclusively of black enlisted men. Most of their service was on the frontier where Indian opponents nicknamed them Buffalo Soldiers.

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Oscar Peterson

Lead:  Oscar Peterson, the Canadian piano virtuoso, made a surprise appearance at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 1949. It was his debut. He dazzled the audience.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the finest jazz pianists of the twentieth century, Oscar Peterson was born in Montreal in 1925. His father was a railroad porter, a self-taught pianist, who insisted that the five Peterson children take classical piano lessons. For Oscar it became far more than a chore. He recalled stealing out of bed to the downstairs radio and holding his head close to the speaker so as to not awake his parents, engrossed as he was by the sounds of Ellington and Basie and the like.

Bojangles Robinson

Lead:  Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1878, raised by his grandmother, a former slave, legendary tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson transformed the art of tap dancing.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Bill Robinson lost both parents when he was a young and by the time he was six Robinson was dancing in beer gardens and on neighborhood street corners. All his life he carried the nickname “Bojangles,” but he could never be quite sure why. One story was that some of his friends had stolen a hat from Broad Street haberdasher named Boujasson. He inherited the hat, along with the name youthfully mispronounced “Bojangles.” Robinson dropped out of school to pursue a career in dancing, and at seventeen, he was working the vaudeville circuit in the United States and Europe.

Samuel Davies and Slave Literacy Part II

Lead:  Although teaching slaves to read was forbidden, the Rev. Samuel Davies, inspired by the Great Awakening, led a campaign to bring slaves the light of knowledge and of the Gospel.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Samuel Davies was born in New Castle, Delaware, in 1723. He was ordained 1747 and the following year moved to Hanover County, in the Virginia heartland. Davies had been caught up in the mid 18th century movement of religious enthusiasm known as the Great Awakening. Originating with the fiery New England sermons of Jonathan Edwards and spread by itinerant evangelists such as Gilbert Tennant and the English cleric, George Whitfield, with passionate and emotional preaching, the movement emphasized internal faith over church doctrine and encouraged the cultivation of a personal relationship with God. Often those inspired by this revival emerged with a sense of responsibility for the spiritual lives of slaves and Native Americans.

Samuel Davies and Slave Literacy Part I

Lead:  Teaching slaves to read became increasingly illegal in the antebellum South. Nevertheless, a small number of slaves achieved literacy through the efforts of courageous whites and even that of some slaves themselves.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the colonial and antebellum South there were few efforts to teach Africans to read. In fact, by the early nineteenth century, across the South, whites passed and strengthened anti-literacy laws. Some states frowned upon even the education of free blacks. Much of this sentiment grew out of fear following several high profile slave revolts such as those led by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vessey in Charleston in 1822 and Nat Turner in Southeast Virginia in 1831.