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tv   World War I African Americans Civil Rights  CSPAN  December 7, 2019 10:50pm-12:01am EST

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war i and the shaping of modern black identity. the museum has a temporary exhibit focusing on african americans during the war. next, easy and creator and book contributor krewasky salter joined howard university professor greg carr to talk about the collection of essays that inspired the book and exhibit. the two also discussed how the african american experience during what was then called "the great war" served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement. [applause] >> good evening. >> good evening. first of all, thank you for coming out on this rainy evening. i know it is a challenge. i think it will be well worth your time to be here this evening for this discussion. it is my pleasure to welcome you to this program entitled, historically speaking, we return
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fighting. world war i and the shaping of modern black identity." published by this is sony and, is a chronicle of men and women who served the country on the battlefield as well as on the home front and their struggles for cell rights. one of the main things we will learn this evening is that while the civil rights movement was away,ted -- was decades world war i established important questions of citizenship that paved the way toward future progress. we are fortunate to be joined conwell, theasha museums equity director -- deputy director and editor of we return fighting. the images are really very powerful, of americans at war and on the home front. it also gives us a different look at the life african americans face when they came home after the war. let me end by welcoming you and
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assuring you that you are in for a wonderful evening. thank you for joining us and i'm sure you will have a great evening. [applause] men, pleasetel welcome the deputy director of museum of history can shasha holman. holman.asha and thank you spencer for the warm welcome and the wonderful introduction for this book. i hope you will purchase it. and when you do. the acknowledgments. if i had time i would mention names like carolyn grayson,
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christina weeding 10, rex ellis and others. but i do not have time laura coyle and doug grimley. carlos vista montaigne, minda logan and many others. if you look in the back, the names are all there. one of the people i would like to quote from is a young man who surely had and has a promising future. many of you have heard his name. lonnie bunch the third. we were pleased that our founding director was able to and willing to write the introduction and epilogue to this book. which is the work of many hands. and i would like to quote from his epilogue to frame a little bit about what you are going to hear tonight from these amazing , krewasky salter and
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greg carr. he says no sigel volume can fully capture the african american experience and one where one or tell us what the war meant for black americans in the decades afterward, whether the echoes were heard in president harry s truman's desegregation order. the landmark brown v. board of education segregation decision of 1954 and the long battles of the 1960's to gain for black citizens the democracy for which all those young men had died so long ago. although the war did not swing open the doors of enfranchisement for african-americans, it could be said that it's sheer scale, the ofp across the world face the first truly global war did
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open for us, a new sense of our own potential and possibility. and thus set into motion and incremental movement toward freedom. the burdens on the backs of black americans, military or civilian, remain heavy. sacrificed inars world war i and all the wars that have followed have not been forgotten. and they remain incontrovertible to full our entitlement rights as citizens of our own country. the great w eb to boys who was one of the major intellectuals, web dubois, one of the major intellectuals who
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frame the issues run one where one. stated in his article for the crisis magazine, the complexities of world war i. and he wrote, we return. we returned from fighting. we return fighting. make way for democracy. we saved it in france and by the great jehovah, we will save it in the united states of america. why the two reason gentlemen -- or know the reason why. the two gentlemen you here tonight talking about this book and the title of an exhibition almost same title that will debut in december, will help us unpack those complexities and that sentiment. dr.ight, you will hear from our guestlter,
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curator for the exhibition. this major contributor to publication. he is also the executive director of the first division museum. associaterr, professor of african studies and the chair of the department of afro-american studies at howard university. faculty at the howard school of law. as they discuss the vital role of african-americans in world war i. toican-americans who hoped live out post-civil war expectations of full citizenship upon returning home. this book reveals the many ways world war i shaped the identity of black people and lent fuel to their long-standing efforts to demand full citizenship rights
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and to claim their place in this country's cultural and political landscape. had we many more hours, i could give you the amazing credentials of these brilliant men. say, they suffice to are not only holders of phd's and their respective subjects, but they have spoken widely and traveled widely on the subject. dr. salter is a retired u.s. army colonel. he also curated our exhibition on military history and our inaugural exhibitions here in the museum. double victory, the african-american military experience. his publications also include, the story of black military officers, 1861-1948. numerous has
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credentials to his name. in addition to his work at howard university, he is also deeply involved in the development of curriculum, particularly with the city of philadelphia. he is also work around the world -- he has also worked around the world in places including ghana, egypt, el salvador, bahia. his publications have appeared in the african american studies reader, publications of the modern leg which association of america and -- moderate language association of america and the national urban league, 212 state of black america and welcome x, a historical reader. in addition to those of you we have with us in the upper wintry theater tonight, there are others watching -- in the oprah
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winfrey theater tonight, there others watching on you streaming. there others and we ask that you #asider on social media nations story. there's one other person i would like to recognize, juliet lasalle who was the cultural attaché to the french embassy and one of our main connections to our colleagues in france. and then not for them centennial that was headed by joseph samet, we would not have the wonderful objects you will see in the activation that opens in december. mr. samet and madame
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lasalle helps us open the doors. we are grateful to them and to our donors, to all of them. there is one more thing i want to say. this program is made possible through the support of this arena foundation and this exhibition which opens in december is generously supported by altria group. zamet robertide, and the mccormick foundation. it is created, the exhibition in the french with hundredth anniversary of the first world war organization. join me in welcoming and dr. greger
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carr. [applause] >> how is everybody doing? business, iser of just a welcome. we heard from our deputy director and our director and all the folks here at the museum. it is an honor to be here again. and colonel is that a particular honor to sit here with you, realizing that you have been deeply involved with this museum since before it was opened. you have curated and this is the third exhibit. dr. carr: that i curated? terms of then
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exhibits that rotated through the halls. dr. carr: this is the third that rotates through the temper exhibit space. of all this isst incredibly conceived book. if you have already bought it, great. if not, do not leave here without it. though much information in such a tightly packed place, but not overburdened. the language is clean. everything in here. let's start with that. thank you, somebody. good. [laughter] fighting. we return how did you conceive this book? how did you put it together? dr. carr: the book is born out of the exhibition. a decision was made to do the exhibition. once that decision was made, i started to meeting with kinshasa on a reglet basis. we were talking about the story
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-- on a regular basis. and can touch up plays poker very well. so i was -- kinshasha plays poker very well. i was talking with her and she would ask me questions. i would leave the office. and i would have meetings with my then boss, rex ellis. and he says, she likes what you're saying. i do not know what you're saying when you meet with her. and then i realize that she might play poker but now i know that she is listening. so the next time i met with her, she said, not only should we do an exhibition, i think we can do a book. and so the book was actually born when i had my one-on-one meetings, sitting down with kinshasha. and from that point on, not only were we x getting an exhibition, we started developing the construct for a book. -- not only were we executing an exhibition, but we started
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developing the construct for a book. in a moment we'll talk about why world war i. but in this book one of the brilliant things about it is you're taking some things we know that we are aware of, but you're reading it differently. how did you curate the authors and then parse out the work and then go through the editorial process to get this kind of distinct way of, not only talking about african-americans but talking about world history through the lens of world war i. dr. carr: exactly. what we did, we already had scholarly advisors to the exhibition. it was very easy, we selected all of the scholarly advisors who were working on the exhibition. what the scholarly advisors are is, those are the people that bring the curators down to earth. you pick big brain people and you send your script to them. and they help to make sure you get your ex to rotations right that your interpretations right.
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one thing we had to do with the exhibition was make sure we did not want to drop our readers nor our visitors into the black experience in world war i, without them understanding what world war i really was. so we have a part called the global war. the first chapter is written by j winters, a professor emeritus of yale university, who now lives in france. his chapter is the first chapter. why worlds understand war i? in a few pagesil on how world war i became a global war, in a patient half. then he talks about stalemate -- in a page and a half. any talks about stalemate. that is the first chapter that sets the stage. it was my mission in chapter two
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to do two things. one was to have readers understand-and we do this in the exhibition, that african americans do not to step on the battlefield in world war i. they had been there from the beginning of the nation. my mission was to be sure we understood that. and also to be sure people world and what a dark america was for black americans. so when you read chapter two, you see the turning back of time, after the ending of slavery. the rise of jim crow is him. extreme segregation. the 1883 civil rights act which turns back the clock. 13 years later plessy versus ferguson. all along, you have people who are being lynched and killed. we have a quote in there from robert smalls, a world war ii veteran who says in 1895, that he estimates that time, over
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53,000 african-americans had been killed. we talk about mob violence. we talk about those, while at the same time, african americans are serving in the military. so that was my mission. in chapter two. and also to talk about the service of african-americans in world war i. chapter three was written by another one of our rhodes scholars, dr. john morrow, who is the john hope frankel and professor of history and chair at the university of georgia. it was his mission to create a tight shot group i'm a soldier. so i shot group is you want to hit that target. a tight shot group between 1913 and 1919. so he went a little further in detail, in the service of african-americans. woody also brought to the table he was an imperialist researcher and writer. this was the time during imperialism.
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he talks about when the europeans went to war, the rest of the world went to war because they had all these colonies. he goes into detail. that really is a linchpin for this later on. dr. carr: and then he talks about the further mob violence that is going on. he talks about east st. louis. and houston in 1917. and the key to those two rights is that we had already entered the war and we were still having these types of incidents going on. so that was jay morrow's piece. then we had 10 profiles. three of our other scholars, chad williams, lisa boudreau and curtis young, they write profiles. then we picked up another scholar, brittany cooper. powerful. on she writes of peace charles and ida b wells.
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that is the construct. when you read the book, we also have a beautiful timeline. bill pretzer and one of our research assistants, alicia norwood, you pour that out and it goes from 1863 to 1963 and it weaves in the social, cultural and economic and military service, all in the timeline. captionsore than 140 of some of the artifacts and images. in our exhibition and research trea hogan, she wrote half of that and i read the other half. writelter: i want to about the -- ask about the exhibit and what is in the book. before we get there, they exhibit opens next month? dr. carr: the 13th of december. by project manager is here too,
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carla's best monday. -- carlos bustamante. dr. salter: we're going to talk for the while and then we will open it up. one of your heroes i think we talk about more is charles young. i think it was according to judge wilkins in his work -- it long word hard truth, it was a hundred years ago this december that young if the talk because the veterans have come back and they say they want a new graham memorial. some war veterans come back, george washington williams and them, we want a memorial. maybe it is supposed to be near howard. that would've been great. they cannot afford to buy the property now. but then we have this, we are good. then world war i veterans come back and say we want a new graham memorial. maybe it should be bigger than that. charles young gives a talk where he says, you know it would be nice to have a building and to have brass and monuments. but perhaps the real monument soldiersto give these
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the thing they went abroad to fight for. the rights. stop letting people heard all of this stuff -- stop lynching people. the thing you put together in your essay and the span of this book. it echoes what you did in the first publication for the museum where you talk about this double victory. then you to get backward in time. about world war i and how people of african descent enter the war not just from the united states but around the world, this concept of double victory. and as a career military man who has risen to the highest ranks as a scholar, and now as a man who is helping us interpret experiences of not only our .eople how delicate in this world war i narrative is this balance
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between what black people are trying to do? you point out in your essay in the earlier book and then gestured toward in this one that probably more black people thought for the british then for the united states. -- fought for the british. dr. carr: and why was world war one so important? the essence of will victories when african americans fought for this nation, their nations write history, they were not only fighting to help the nation win. there were fighting to achieve democracy and equality for themselves and their families. so that is what double victory really means. when you go back to the american estimated 6000 african-americans fight for the u.s. forces. an estimated 20,000 fight for the british.
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when you take that victory to the other side, african american's were always fighting for the side that offer the best chances for freedom. african americans had was been there. the reason world war i was so important as a bridge is because african-americans thought, when president wilson said, we must fight to make the world safe for democracy, they thought that meant them. [laughter] so when they want to fight, the double victory they were fighting for was not just to help america win the war when they went overseas. we were fighting that, hopefully, when they got back, that the equalities of being a citizen, democracy, mob violence, economic stability, educational up left and host of other things, would come to them . but within 24 months after the declaration of war was given on
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the sixth of april, 1917, this thing called the red summer erected. -- erected. that is what charles young was talking about. these african-american soldiers did not put europe just to help americans win, they went to help their citizens when in america. and that did not happen. that is why this term the new negro came about. the phrase came about 25 years earlier. but that was an intellectual and economic new negra. most of us know the new nero from 1919. he was the one emboldened after fighting on the battlefield and his family members and friends were also emboldened to make sure that what we went to fight for, to make the world safe for democracy, was also going to make america safer democracy.
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that is why we have the quote with a philip randolph. dr. salter: i would rather make georgia safer democracy. when the president said, make the world safe for democracy. a philip randolph said i would rather make georgia safe for the need. or the negro. dr. salter: a philip randolph, inmost dangerous negro america, an open socialist. dr. carr: the title you pick and also the exhibit. i want to get the housekeeping at the weight and i want to -- housekeeping out of the way. we return fighting is from wasis. but randolph
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distinguishing himself from as you narrate here, these conservative blacks, alain locke is credited with the new negro. in douglas hall. dr. salter: a professor of military silence. -- science. dr. carr: how it is like atlanta, everybody knows someone who went to howard. randall is critical not only of locke. but elaine he writes relative to the war appeared why you picked, we return fighting, and make the delivery choice not to say world war i and the shaping of black participation in the war, but this broader concept. dubois is bouncing something. dr. salter: so the first one, you're exactly right.
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a philip randolph and web du bois. dubois was in his mid-40's and 1917. a philip randolph was 28 years old. was lumped in with what he called the old crowd those who would close ranks and go fights, which is what dubois said in his close rank's article in 1918. but the sentiment had already been there from 1915, 16 and 17 p he was writing about the war when it started in 1914. dr. carr: you mentioned the imperialism chapter which is very important. the article in atlantic monthly. did a tripdubois to france in december, 1918 for three-month after the war. he was disturbed with what he found. intellectuals the
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that mainly convinced african-americans to close ranks and go to war. and he did research and found out about all the discrimination , and some african markets who had lost their lives on the battlefield -- african-americans who lost their lives on the battlefield. and some who lost their lives, not on the battlefield. when he came back in may, he wrote a dr. position of closed ranks. he said we would be -- a juxtaposition of close ranks and he said we would be full sent cowards if he going fight far nation and come back to the same nation we left. the centennial, world war i is really over. this year is the centennial of the new negro. that is why the exhibition is entitled, we return fighting. one of the questions you may have been asking is one word you do not see in the exhibition title or the book is, you do not
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the exhibition is not entitled the african-american military spirits and world war i. and the book is not entitled world war i, and the military shaping and black identity. you do not seem military in there for a reason. this exhibition, like double victory, it is not about the africannecessarily of americans on the battlefield. it is why they served the reason they served is because they were citizens and wanted to make sure they raped all the benefits. the -- that they reaped all the benefits. the exhibition is not light. it is on time. we always intended it for it to because this is the centennial of the new negro. dr. carr: we talked backstage about 70 things. but in this book, what -- we
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talked backstage about so many things. thehis book, what is in book but not the exhibition? dr. salter: while number one what is in the exhibition but not the book are the live artifacts you can see up close. the book allows us to give more details, tip meat on the bounds of why there was a where one. why the entire world went to war in six weeks. -- why there was a world war i. also detail between the difference between that 92nd and 93rd division and why the 93rd and 369 and 370 and 371 and three 72nd was so important. you have that in the book. in the x mission, we have a few additional vignettes. -- in the exhibition. the difference is they both have a shelf life. the exhibitions shelf life will end on 14 june.
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this book, if you buy it, and as a shelf life that will be on your library forever. so that is a big difference between the book and the exhibition. the exhibition will leave and we will mount another very important exhibition. i will not say what it is because i do not know if it is for public consumption. but the book will be there forever. yes.carr: andwe are going to shift talk about, and believe me, every page in this book, every paragraph could open up into a whole conversation. for me, as some who is an inveterate reader, i am reading this like, wow. of there are any number places we can go. certainly we want to talk about the role of the women. we can talk about some of these heroic figures. thinking about 1915. booker t. washington died in 1915. birth of a nation comes out in 1915. you have woodrow wilson curated and narrated.
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let's take a figure that helps us work around to some of the other conversations. we are in washington, d.c.. talk to me about houston, charlie houston. this dude was one of the highest-ranking black officers in world war i. dr. salter: he was a lieutenant. for an african-american at the time, he was a lieutenant. i asked people all the time, do you know who charles hamilton houston is? and what is important for? and everyone who knows them for, knows a mess a lawyer. few people know that he was -- knows him as a lawyer. few know that he was one of the individual's who went to fort des moines, arden officer ship, and served as you tenant overseas -- served as a franceant and fought in in the 92nd division.
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it was that experience that he had in the military, when he saw the way he was treated and other african-americans were treated, that he decided that what his father always wanted him to be, his father wanted him to be a lawyer and was alert himself. -- and was a lawyer himself. that is where he got his foundation to be a lawyer. so when you open the book, i collected those peer the reason .ou have that picture his typewriter is in the national museum of african-american history and culture. we wanted artifacts that resonated all kinds of things. we wanted something that resonated military and nobody had it. they had the address of his son. dr. carr: oh yeah. my wife is in the
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audience, she knows the story. dr. carr: charles hamilton houston's son. dr. salter: he gave me that picture. i will tell the story. i got in my car and i drove up to baltimore to the address. i had my smith sony and bad in my hand, i knocked on the door -- i had my smithsonian badge and i knocked on the door. his wife came to the door and i announce who i was. krewasky salter, i work for the smithsonian. you talk with them and make a connection. they had nothing to give, we do not know. the second visit after they called me, they said you know what? charles has been keeping his father's revolver from world war i. dr. salter: oh, man.
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i said you gotta be kidding me. make a long story short, i go up there and collected. the pistol, they pulled out that image and i've never seen that image before. the reason we know while those individuals are, is that they had it in written on the back. that is his father and he was in the odd fellows. they gave us for objects. and there are stories like that for just about all the objects in the exhibition that people donated to us. and they did not want to give that up because they do not want his father to be seen as a militant with a weapon, that is what they told me. but i said because of this museum, and that is one thing this museum is doing, it is convincing people to give up artifacts they have had for years tucked away somewhere. so i'm ever getting that. dr. carr: a lot of trust. dr. salter: i drove out of
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baltimore and it is going to be in the exhibition and it now meet belongs to the national museum of african-american history and culture. dr. carr: yes, please upheaval [applause] continue.let's dr. salter: charles hamilton houston's granddaughter or great granddaughter is a student at howard law school. dr. carr: yes, no question, we are keeping it tight. dr. salter: making a connection with the family and talking with them and you still talk with these and visuals. dr. carr: let's continue in that vein. houston has clearly got a vision. and you say what he saw and more empowered him to keep going and troubled his spirit. there are differences between black people to participating in this war. my homies from nashville got
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beat by these guys from philadelphia said we are not going to take the stuff. dr. salter: yes we put in their. -- there. dr. carr: zeroing in on the differences between black folks, can you talk about the 3629 and what happened in south carolina? and the southern white dudes really want a whole racial order, but these are not gross that are used to - dr. salter: americans have never been monolithic and they are not the same depend on what region you come from. the 369 are new york city boys but not all of them, they are recruited from all of the north and there were a few from the south. where were they sent to train? in south carolina. so there was a clash. the white, southern status quo in south carolina and then you have these northern african-americans coming down to
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train. there were supposed to be there for five months and only stayed for an half weeks. because to get them out there was going to be a clash. dr. carr: they had some and ms. right here. enemies rightme here. dr. salter: that's right. and john writes about this in the exhibition. september october of 1917 is only three month after brownsville and east st. louis. you have to put in context. they did not want another brownsville were the 24th did actually shoot up the town. unlike the 25th. dr. carr: what happened in brownsville the accusations? dr. salter: dr. salter: brownsville, there was one eyesore with the 25th, where president roosevelt discharged 167 soldiers for something that was unfounded and
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has never been proved. however, in houston, when a white police officer began to beat a black woman when he was looking for a soldier, those brothers did shoot up the town. after three court marshals, 19 of them were sent to the gallows. we will talk about than any exhibition. dr. carr: i know we can talk about everything. dr. salter: that is why they left south carolina. that is why they were one of the first african-american units in france. instead of sending them to train, they sent them to the demarcation point. the rest of the 93rd division, they did not arrive until april. that is one of the ring -- main 61st was thehe first unit. dr. carr: it is not just brothers, the ymca gets
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involved. dr. salter: we have an entire section of women weaved throughout. dr. carr: talk about the women. there was a chapter on gold star mothers that i have never seen anywhere else. dr. salter: one of our scholars is a senior military curator, the tennessee state museum of history. she writes about goldstar mothers. lost a sonothers who during world war i, white and black. they had these pilgrimages that went to france, in 1931 to 1933. long story short, they were also segregated. there was discussion. our sons and husbands fought in a segregated military, and we
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are going to visit their gravesites 12 years later in segregated pilgrimages. bradley cooper writes about ida b wells and mary church charles. she talks about the juxtaposition of those individuals. this goes to the fact that african-americans have never been monolithic, just like w. e. b. du bois. same,means were the better lives for like idamericans, just b wells and mary church charles. ida b wells was a firebreather. she would punch you in the nose. dr. carr: literally. [laughter] dr. salter: and mary was a dignified agitator. she says that in her book. she believed in doing things in a dignified manner. that is throughout. that is why we chose people for who they are. not only african-americans.
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we say african-americans and their white supporters. you will see african-americans in this exhibition and others who were friends. dr. carr: we are going to open it up if folks want to move to the microphones. we just scratched the surface. baker tois here from armstrong. what we didn't touch on yet is the global scope of how african people around the world came to know each other in this moment. when brothers get off the troop transport, they meet black women from other places. dr. salter: a part of this global war, although african-americans entered the war with white americans in 191 7, when the world went to war, because this was the period of
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imperialism, france had at least 17 colonies that went to work when they went -- went to war when they went to war. the british had colonies in the caribbean and everywhere else. when they went to war, guess who else went to war? their colonial soldiers went to four. those four -- went to war. those four german colonies went to war. they do meet each other. dr. carr: this was in the exhibit, right? dr. salter: this is one of our artifacts we are getting from france. dr. carr: the caribbean, africa. he has a fade just like me. [laughter] you can go back to georgia the same way after you have seen your brothers. how are you doing, brother?
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please. [indiscernible] >> before you go totally rogue, i will do one thing. we will think of these gentlemen and then go into -- thank these q&a.lemen and then go into [applause] >> i want to encourage everyone to step up to the microphone. people will let us know how to keep on time. >> wonderful session. thank you. dr. salter: how are you? >> very well, thank you. i would be pleased if you can talk about the challenge of creating this exhibition, because so much of this information is not in u.s. archives. under woodrow wilson, those fighting are fighting under the french flag, and therefore the whole process has been working with the french military archive. can you share that story?
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dr. salter: i guess the challenge was to present to a body of my colleagues that the information was there, because i have been studying for a long time. i started studying military history in 1991, african-american history and 1993 -- in 1993. i had done interviews with individuals. i knew about footage that existed. - one of thees - challenges was to make sure my passion and what i knew was coming across to the effect that , yes, we can do an exhibition. i see my old boss sitting in the front row. he was my biggest supporter in the beginning, making sure that, okay, if you know this
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information, make sure we can share it and package it in a fashion where we can share it with the public. a lot of these argument -- these documents are buried in the french archives. we had people translating some information. hadcan-american history been -- i wrote about in the book, a story where african-americans were challenged to suppress the fact that they served in world war i, because soldiers were being attacked. a lot of this history was buried and not talked about, but it exists. people have it, like charles hamilton houston's family in a shoebox in the basement. i hope i answered your question in some way. >> can i ask greg carr a
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question? as a professor who feels every day with younger minds, and as you approach africana studies written large, where does scholarship like the contributors to this book fit in with what you are trying to convey and stir up in these young intellects? this.rr: i will say this a littlet bit, i think museums are the future of this work in a lot of ways. , in theersity, k-12 classroom doing all we can, not just -- the digital platforms. this allows access to all walks of life. when you deal with narrative, we can linger. emmett till,--
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knowing his father is buried in a segregated french cemetery, it is better to let students into this building and linger at the exhibits than sit in a classroom and talk about it. --s is from somebody who is i was playing louis armstrong this morning. but armstrong, the master of modernism, he emerges in this moment of a new world coming out of world war i. it means something more to go through this exhibit and go to the top floor and see louis armstrong trumpet. i think museums are the future of how we narrate and think through critically who we are in the world. this is one of the most places i can think of in the world for us
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to have that kind of conversation in education. >> we will go to the next questioner. >> a couple quick questions. a follow up on what john mentioned. black troops -- i don't understand -- here is the john j pershing, he was willing to transfer all of the black combat troops to the french. i would like to know if there is a back story to that. my second question, i understand those units they were transferred to, if i'm not mistaken, they were also the units the french moved -- french used to consolidate their colonial troops. my third question, then i will get out of here -- i surprised
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you did not mention his name. dr. salter: there are so many people. dr. carr: we talk about him in the exhibition. >> he wrote a book, the american negro in the world war. in terms of his historical documentation, how is that received? that received relative to du bois's documentation? dr. salter: i will take the question about the 369th. there were two black divisions in world war i, the 92nd and 93rd. the 93rd division of four regiments went to the french. there was a complete regiment that stayed with the u.s.. not all of the black combat troops went to the french. john j pershing did have a history. that is where he got his
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nickname blackjack. there are all sorts of terms of different, that is a slap in the face, so i won't go into that. i read this story, that john j pershing was pulled in many directions. there was an american policy that african-american soldiers would not -- that american soldiers would not fight under the french. there was a social juxtaposition from a lot of the white officers on his staff serving in his unit that did not want african-american soldiers to fight alongside white soldiers. when you say john j pershing gave this division to the french, he does bear responsibility, because he was in command. he has the ultimate
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responsibility. but he was being tugged from the top, the side, the bottom. the french were clamoring that you are going to put men on the battlefield. we are very clear the way we choose our words in the gallery upstairs and this gallery. we say john j pershing made the ultimate decision. there was a book about why he made that decision. john's question, there were a host of african-american who wrote about their experience in world war i, but the books never got published. i read most of those over the years, being an african-american military historian. i began to combine those in 1996 .
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that is where the information exists. it exists in libraries and archives collecting dust, because no one was reading it. point catapulted people -- what catapulted people to start studying african-american history in the military was when glory came. onlye "glory," there were a few books. george washington williams wrote in the 1980's. that was one of the books collecting dust. it has always been there, but if that's not what you are looking for, you weren't finding it. "glory" was the turning point. that is when they realized they did fight. it is a generalization. >> i was going to say that is one of the great strengths of the work in his role as a guest
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curator. he is uncovering things we did not know, like the work you do at howard, professor carr. some things are hiding in plain sight. i will ask if we take the next andquestioners in a row nature we have time f-r -- make sure we have time for additional discussion. we have an additional treat before we leave. we have something that young people call a sizzle reel. i thought we were going to sizzler. [laughter] >> i am a freshman at howard university. talking about this idea of leaving making -- meaning making of soldiers during this time, how does that pass down to this modern generation, the modern
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black identity? what are some examples of these values? how can we see the flash of the spear in present-day, not only in the black community in the united states, but around the world. i would like to take a course from you after i take one from dr. carr. meaning making, in one second, at the mic. >> i am professor emeritus from cornell university. i alsoett scott's book, thought of emmett scott as conservative, but he does not pull punches in his studies of black soldiers in world war i. two questions. wish he would speak about the military directive that the united states army circulated during world war one,
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cautioning, especially the french, from fraternizing with african-american soldiers, if you could comment about that. secondly, what do you mean by modern black identity? you spoke about the new negro movement, but could you expand about modern black identity? >> just think, we have all of five minutes, which should be a piece of cake. do you want to do meaning making, or identity? dr. salter: first of all, stay informed and speak out. that is what a philip randolph and w.e.b. du bois was doing. a. philip randolph was 28 years old when he stepped onto the stage and challenge a sitting president. he also planned the first march on washington in 1940. he did not have to do that much, because he got -- that march,
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because he got what he wanted. to younguld say individuals today take some of those lessons from philip randolph and josephine baker and do it in your own way and make sure you are informed and get your message out. it goes to the question about emmett scott, the secret document. we talk about the secret document in the military gallery upstairs. there was a circulation that informed the french that we don't treat african-americans in america the way you are treating them here. it was a long letter. that letter was quickly rescinded. it did come out of pershing headquarters. it came from a french colonel who was directed to write it.
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uncovered that during his three month tour. that is why it is printed in crisis magazine. our brief word from one of local intellectuals. to add to the brilliance of dr. readr and dr. carr, you this wonderful book this gentleman was involved in. tell us about the intellectual context in the shaping of identity. dr. salter: very specifically, we can talk about and it's scott. -- emmett scott. he is out of a job in tuskegee. he ends up with a job at howard. he is the national historian of alpha phi alpha. [laughter]
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doesn't scott go to france? scott goes to france. those soldiers are like, look, i don't know why they sent you to calm us down. the president told african-american soldiers, calm down, don't rock the boat, etc. w.e.b. du bois come back and rocks the boat. dr. salter: the only reason i mention this is because the intellectuals of that period, th en and now, the best thinkers are the engaged thinkers. ultimately in world war ii, when theylls off the march, ended up having a three-day conference at howard. we are not coming just to
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integrate military jobs, we are talking about what our race nee ds. these thinkers are not just writing, they are in the middle of the fight. we did not even get to james brown johnson. so-calledout the same black national anthem that du bois sang. one is a poet. there is a whole another venue of thinkers who were artists. the 369th is important. don't think of intellectuals as armchairs writing books, they are engaged. >> a question about modern identity. the we mean by that, opening where he said something about the four runners of the civil rights movement. the worldelieve that
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war ii generation who executed the civil rights movement, they were the germination of the scenes planted -- seeds planted by the world war i generation. they said, we fought for this country and we want our equality. a. philip randolph was there in 1963. charles hamilton and mary church world don't pass away until 1954. those individuals play a critical part in world war i. dr. salter: you talk about the anti-colonial movement in many
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ways. we also would like you to buy this book and read more about the great writing of our colleague, dr. salter, and repeating the names he morrowed, john h. junior, curtis young. i have very little time on the stage, so i cannot give a shout out to the dean. if i had time, i would. i see a beautiful young woman in uniform, which reminds me of something i was amended by a dear colleague. can i ask all active-duty end all members of the military who made a sacrifice for this country to stand? you can stand, too, colonel.
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[applause] >> thank you. thank you. >> really really -- we really mean it. thank you for your service. you stood up, so i can't deny you. >> you gentlemen have done an excellent job. [indiscernible] >> nice to meet you. >> what would you say are the key elements for us to galvanize the military? the military has always been a precursor. the more things change, the more they stay the same. the struggles, we are still fighting.
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officers, male and female -- [indiscernible] this civil rights era where we .ere invested in the future my over to the right now is getting richer. we are moving out of the community. asare engaged in fratricide opposed to supporting each other. we tear each other down. what would you say are the top three factors -- [indiscernible] i will get to it in email. i have a whole list. [indiscernible] me, i am going to print. >> no pressure, in other words. [laughter]
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>> give me your top three in terms of how we help each other and reclaim our legacy of helping each other and building each other up. >> yes ma'am. [applause] dr. salter: i will address one related to the military, because we don't have a lot of time. i served for 25 years. i know what you are saying. intople years ago, i ran an african-american general officer. mentionedi, who is going to be in the pipeline? i know they are not in the pipeline, because i was studying it. this is what we have to do as a community -- and this is a tough our -- we have got to let young brothers and sisters know that the military is a viable occupation. when i was at west point for three years, i recruited
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african-americans to come to west point to go to the military. it is a tough sell, but we have to let our young brothers and sisters know when you go in the military, you are not just going to fight for your country and be used and abused. the reason i have a masters and phd is because i was in the military. i was a young talent -- young lieutenant. i received a letter, because of your academic success, you are qualified to teach at the u.s. military academy. i was on a five-year program. for five years -- i was paid to be a student for two years and instructor for three years. i had a professor who told me about this thing called abd, all but dissertation. three years later, i finished my dhd while i was teaching at -- phd while i was teaching at west
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point. there are a whole host of women, who retired, black, from the military and had a second profession because it created a platform for us. i love boys in the hunt. i was second lieutenant when lawrence told cuba gooding junior, the army is no place for a brother. oh man, i just joined the military. it is a hard sell, but we have to. >> what is not a hard sell is this great book. [laughter] [applause] thank these gentlemen one more time, please -- >> thank you, gentlemen. c-spanican history tv on 3 looks at the impeachment of presidents nixon and clinton.
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sunday, starting at 6:00 p.m., on oral histories, trent lott and elizabeth holtzman reflect on serving on the house judiciary committee during the impeachment in korea president richard nixon. -- impeachment inquiry of president richard nixon. impact on my decision to run for office, and was helpful in my winning and looked up to as a president. i wound up having to sit in judgment on him, even saying i would vote for an article of impeachment. >> at 8:00, a portion of the house judiciary committee debate on the impeachment of president clinton. >> the senate has been important adjudicatory role to study what it wants and agree and disagree. our founding fathers made it extraordinarily difficult to eliminate a president from
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office by requiring a 2/3rds vote. unless this is done by partisanly, and tragically there is no bipartisanship here, but hopefully when it gets to the senate, there is no bipartisanship. passedore our nation's on american history tv. this weekend, the impeachment of presidents richard nixon and bill clinton. next on lectures in history, mark byrnes teaches a class about u.s. public opinion, the radio as a means of national media, and the debate about whether to enter world war ii. he outlines the arguments both for and against intervention and uses radio clips to demonstrate the role it played in shaping american views and foreign policy.


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