Massachusetts Colored Regiment II

Lead: The opportunity for blacks to serve in the Federal armed forces during the Civil War was a novel idea and was resisted by skeptical and prejudiced whites. Many minds were changed on the deadly slopes of Battery Wagner.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Getting official permission for blacks to fight for the Union was one thing, making it happen was much harder. Massachusetts formed the 54th Colored Regiment in early 1863, but the Commonwealth did not have enough resident African-Americans to fill it. The Governor, a committed abolitionist, issued a national call for volunteers and, led by activist Frederick Douglass, who contributed time and energy as well as two sons to the regiment, the ranks of the 54th gradually filled. They were led by a white man, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who turned down the Governor’s offer at first but later accepted and was glad he did.

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Massachusetts Colored Regiment I

Lead: During the Civil War, the South was not the only region of warring America where blacks faced a struggle to overcome racism. One way they fought for their place as citizens was to fight.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early days of the Civil War African Americans in the north and in areas liberated by Union armies were not allowed to fight for the Federal cause. When a group of blacks tried to form a local militia in Cincinnati they were told, “we want you damned niggers to keep out of this, this is a white man’s war.” The vast majority of Northerners were just as bigoted, just as prejudiced as Southerners. Yet, slowly this began to change. Abraham Lincoln grew in his understanding of the nature of conflict in which the nation was locked. White abolitionists worked tirelessly for full citizenship participation for Africans. In addition, many blacks were willing to sacrifice their lives on the battlefield. As a result, stereotypes were destroyed, prejudice was challenged, and free blacks and freedmen contributed much to the defeat of the Confederacy and the end to slavery.

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Toussaint L’Ouverture – II

Lead: Drawn into the battle for Haitian independence in 1791, Toussaint L’Ouverture leveraged his military successes into national leadership.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: An instinctive leader, Toussaint combined clever military tactics with a politically moderate disposition. This was in contrast to most of the native leaders who were more interested in exacting revenge on the colonial French than building a new society. By 1793 the French were on the ropes. Success by his guerrilla armies along with attacks by the Spanish who controlled two-thirds of the island and intervention by the British raised the prospect that the French might be thrown off the island.

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Toussaint L’Ouverture – I

Lead: Born a slave, Toussaint L’Ouverture led the fight for Haitian independence.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: When Christopher Columbus first visited the island he would name La Espanola, it was inhabited by perhaps 1,000,000 natives who lived primarily by agriculture and fishing. By 1697 the western third of the island had been ceded to France by treaty and during the 1700s renamed became one of the Caribbean’s most successful colonies, its prosperity built of sugar, coffee and cotton production on the back of blacks, African slaves.

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Frederick Douglass II

Lead: Born a slave, Frederick Douglass became one of the most articulate spokesmen for abolition in the pre-Civil War era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After escaping from slavery as a teenager, Douglass began to speak to church audiences throughout the North about the horrors of slavery. "I've come to tell you about slavery. Other abolitionists can tell you something about slavery; they cannot refer you to a back covered with scars." William Lloyd Garrison, the crusading newspaper editor, hired Douglass as a lecturer and audiences of whites flocked to hear his eloquent and compelling denunciation of America's peculiar institution. So effective was Douglass on the speaking circuit that his handlers began to fear attempts to recapture him and take him back South. Therefore, they sent him on a two-year European tour. He returned after twenty-one months, an international celebrity.

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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.

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Emancipation of Brazil’s Slaves

Lead: The abolition of slavery in Brazil was due in large part to the influence of two courageous but pragmatic rulers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brazil was one of the few Latin American countries to gain peacefully its independence from European rule. During Napoleon's invasion of Portugal in the early 1900s, its rulers fled to their South American colony. When the French were no longer a threat, the Portuguese monarchs left Prince Pedro in charge. In 1822 he declared the independence of the nation and himself Emperor of Brazil. The stability provided by the monarchy was largely unmatched in the region.

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment III

Lead: A single vote saved Andrew Johnson from disgrace.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1865 President Johnson wanted to quickly ease the South back into the national mainstream, but his stubbornness and irascible disposition complicated his ability in facing an array of opponents, the most formidable of which were the Radical Republicans. Led by Benjamin Wade and Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House, the radicals were determined to treat the South as if it were conquered territory. In addition, they wished to force full citizenship for blacks on a South filled with whites who up to then considered African Americans to be hardly human beings, much less persons worthy of civil rights. Also, the radicals knew that Southerners, many of whom had advocated secession and brought about the war, would probably help elect a Democratic majority in Congress, which would defeat the radical program.

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