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tv   The Civil War Abraham Lincoln Emancipation  CSPAN  February 29, 2020 6:00pm-6:46pm EST

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history. we hear about the civil war conflict in places such as missouri, kansas, texas and arizona. at 10:00 p.m. eastern, reel america. the new girl is a 1959 antidiscrimination film dramatizing racial tensions in office doing contract work. that is coming up on american history tv. honoris a real introducing someone who is kind, classy, and a careful scholar and someone who has been the heart of the lincoln forums since its inception. she is now the associate provost of equity affairs and howard
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atversity -- faculty affairs howard university and this places her in the enviable position of having to say no to everyone. [laughter] she is the former chair of history at howard. she is the former interim dean and professor of history. her works focus on african-american history and the history of the jacksonian era, the reconstruction. include theworks emancipation proclamation three views which is now coming out in paperback. the price of freedom, slavery and the civil war. volume one and volume two. as well as the historical perspectives of the african burial ground new york blacks and the diaspora.
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what i have always found about her scholarship is she reminds us of the humid told of the civil war. we often can float into abstractions or perhaps i'm speaking of myself and the world look at history from a detached perspective but she is always there to remind us of the humid toll, the humid bring this conflict to life for us. please welcome and a green medford. medford.reen [applause] >> good afternoon.
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thank you. wonderful. [laughter] good afternoon. [applause] thank joe for the very kind remarks. i'm really do appreciate it. forumd like to thank the for allowing me to speak this afternoon. every now and then, they let me out of the box. they let me say a few things. it [laughter] they know i can get wild from time to time. one of the worst things that can is to sith a lecturer and hear other people give the lecture she had planned to give. [laughter] i heard half of what i had planned to say and this morning i heard the rest.
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[laughter] actually, we can all go home. [laughter] since i know that harold will bring my neck if i let you go home, i will rise to the occasion and say something to you. on july 4, 1861, a measured resolute president delivered a message to congress in special session. the address came nearly three months after the south carolina militia fired on the installation interest in harbor and it sought to justify lincoln's actions in the interim and the reasons why congress should now officially take up the mantle to defend the union. drew asident deftly distinction between the motivations of the two regions. simultaneously affirming the union cause while reaffirming his own views of the role of this nation's government and its
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uniqueness. lincoln alluded to the declarations of independence and by the seceded states in which the phrase all men are created equal had been omitted. he pointed to the substitution and the temporary national constitution of the phrase we the people for we the deputies of the sovereign and independent states. lincoln viewed this is a deliberate effort to deny the rights espoused by jefferson's declaration of independence. it and a rejection of the people's authority as mentioned in the preamble to the constitution of the united states. essentially a people's contest he told the assembled lawmakers. union, it isf the a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the
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condition of man. to left artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the path of laudable pursuit for all. and unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life. this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we content. no single statement defines his philosophy of government more than this message on the nationstate of independence. and they associated at least rhetorically with liberty, justice, equality. it was the guiding principle of his life. the core of his belief system. he believed that the declaration of independence as one of america's foundational documents framed our national character. it gave us the exceptionalism that we continue to claim for ourselves today.
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the america lincoln envisioned was more aspirational than actual. in marchook office 1860 1, 2 different americas existed. one in the north and the other in the south. neither of which was particularly interested in liberty, justice and equality for all. lincoln despaired of those who would claim the declarations promise for themselves what deny it to others. on the question of liberty as a principle he wrote, in 1855, we are not what we have been. we are the political slaves of king george and wanted to be called the maxim that all men are created equal a self -- self evident truth. now when we have grown fat and lost all dread of being slaves, we have become so greedy to the masters that we call the same maxim, a self-evident live.
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series of reforms that aim to address social ills caused by record population growth in the cities and severe economic changes, the north face serious challenges. expanding commercialism and industrialization and an influx of immigrants overwhelmed urban centers. ethnic and religious diversity in the form of roman catholicism and irish immigration especially would -- was neither celebrated nor tolerated. racial animosities led to outright discrimination and violence against african americans any of the latter having been freed in the decades after the american revolution and who are now considered a direct economic threat because of competition. gender-based inequities also compromised the notion of equity for all. middle-class women were
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constrained by the cult of domesticity which suggested their proper places in the home. the woman's rights conference held in seneca falls, new york in 1848 gave the daughters of democracy the opportunity to enter grievances in a formal setting. that conference attracted 300 attendees including male supporters of the cause. a declaration of sentiment catalogue of injustices done to women by men including the of the elective franchise, employment opportunities, and a fair wage for those jobs that were open to them. and of course, they were denied access to education. working-class women shared these disabilities and more. forced by necessity to work outside the household, they often faced 14 hour workdays.
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the dangers of factory labor, and unequal pay. in the south, and agrarian economy based largely on slave labor retarded innovation and left the region to like behind the north in development and industrialization. of itseducation residents and its pursuit of equality for all. the institution elevated every white person above every black man woman and child in slave or free. the violence employed to maintain the system of subordination of one race by another shaped and left an indelible mark on the character of the south. while immigrants hastened to the north, slavery's grip on the southern portion of the country discouraged those in search of economic opportunity. it was not by happenstance that a son of the midwest by where the south would come to stand at the center of the controversy
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over slavery's extension. the slaveryrstood chance forath to a 1/8 of the population in bondage. they were going to advance themselves, this institution would have to be destroyed. slavery also hinder the progress of free african-americans who by extension, share the burden of belonging to a despised and marginalized race. the institution negatively impacted white men as well. one for they families held ownership of enslaved laborers, their economic and social standing disadvantaged the common white man. moreover, enslaved laborers competed with the poor worker making it harder to earn a living. those struggling non-slaveholders who sought a better life for themselves
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beyond the influence of the wealthy farmers needed a sanctuary elsewhere. recognized that the territories offered a solution to the dilemma poor white men faced. the whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these territories he declared. we want them for the homes of free white people. this they cannot be to any considerable extent if slavery shall be planted within them. slave states are places for poor white people to remove from not to remove to. new free states are the places for poor people to go to and better their condition. for this use, the nation needs these territories. by the time of lincoln's presidency, the western parts of the country especially the older northwest territory which at one time included illinois, indiana,
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ohio, michigan and wisconsin, had been settled at the very people the president sought to assist. when congress organized the territory in 1787, it banned slavery. the institution survived in certain instances for instance in the minds of southern illinois. lawa loophole and illinois allowed slave owners to bring the property to the state as long as they kept them there for less than a year. as you'll recall, the case is about that in which lincoln represented a slaveholder who was trying to retreat his runaway slaves. they ran away because he had kept them in the state for two years. law andun afoul of the lincoln had presented him because he believed everyone deserved representation. movedn's own family had from kentucky to indiana and eventually to illinois with a hope to find sufficient cheap
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labor, cheap land and no competition from slave labor. as southern whites moved into free territory, their racial prejudices migrated with them. the 1850's, some of the midwestern states including illinois have passed into immigration laws aimed not at the irish were german newcomers to america but against american-born blacks seeking economic opportunities close to them in the east and you get the instance will you have fairly recent immigrants passing laws that discriminate against american-born people. it's astounding. those free blacks who defied the law faced fines as much as $50 for the offense. the inability to pay what was considered a significant amount subjectedt that time them to the auctioning off of their labor. were who legally resided
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denied the rights accorded to the right -- white counterparts. we cannot testify in court against white residents or serve on juries. moreover, their taxes pay for the operation of public schools that their children were barred from attending. lincoln had declared his antislavery position early in his career, he did not offer any robust objection to these disabilities placed on black illinois and and i almost feel roger bridges standing up now saying you have a look at everything. i haven't seen anything yet to suggest you'd be better positioned to know that been made because you have done the studies. during this time, the future president's efforts were placed instead on ensuring slavery did not expand. in his 1854 address in the aurea, he declared
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that the old northwest territory was exactly what jefferson had foreseen and intended. the happy home of teeming millions of free white prosperous people. competition by the of slave labor. as he waited to be sworn in as 1851, his political allies kept him informed of the efforts underway to stem secession and bring the already seceded states back into the union. lincoln let it be known that he would be willing to support certain compromises on the issue of slavery and the district of columbia, the return of fugitive slaves, the domestic trade of enslaved persons in his words he cared about little. thate stated emphatically there would be no compromise on
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a question of extending slavery on soil owned by the nation. at that time, he was talking about the territory of new mexico, utah, arizona and california. on the territorial question he announced, i am in flexible. and in flexible he remained. figuredritories prominently in his plans for the eventual destruction of the institution. he believed the framers of the constitution had tolerated slavery out of necessity and had placed the institution on a path of eventual extinction. by excluding it from the territories, it would not be able to expand and hence would die a natural death. lincoln was willing to wait for however long that death would take. war made the mind of the institution of immediate concern. although he was willing and he preferred, a gradual and to
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slavery, the war had to change his timetable. america's image on the world stage matter to lincoln as well. he understood the role he played as the model of democratic ideals in a world when liberty and equality were not common principles. had been baseds practically on the denial of the equal rights of men he suggested . hours began by affirming those rights. he hated slavery because of its monstrous injustice but he found it itefensible because also, deprives a republican example of its justification in the world and enables the enemies of free insmed -- institutions plausibility to talk to us as hypocrites. it causes real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity and especially because it forces
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so many good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the fundamental principle of civil liberty criticizing the declaration of independence. american freedom and equality were meant to be universal. to give hope to the world for all future time. thats most prized than lincoln was unwilling to give his political support to the newly formed american or know nothing party. at a time when anti-immigrant sentiment permeated the party's views reflected a long-standing fear of papal influence and concern over the arrival of a large number of immigrants whose cultural practices irritated the nativeborn. lincoln understood the ethnic prejudices and intolerance endangered the entire nation. in a letter to a longtime
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friend, he explained why he could not embrace the party. i am not a know nothing he wrote. how could i be? how could anyone who of course the oppression of neighbors be in favor of degrading classes of white people? he lamented what he viewed as the parties abandonment of the declaration of independence. our progress and degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rampant he continued. as a nation, we began by declaring that all men are created equal. we now practically read it as all men are created equal except the gross. where's the know nothings get control, it will read all men are created equal except new gross and foreigners and catholics. when it comes to this, i would prefer emigrate to seven country where they make no pretense of loving liberty. to russia for instance where despotism can be taken pure and
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without the base alloy of hypocrisy. tangible evidence of lincoln's commitment to the common man beyond words can be found in his support for several pieces of legislation during his term in office and i will mention only to hear. congress passed the homestead act which allowed americans to claim up to 160 acres of land in exchange for a small fee. five years in residence and improvement to the property. women, immigrants and african-americans were eligible although the latter were not included until 1868. lincoln had thrown his support behind the measure declaring that he thought the wildlands of the country should be distributed so that every man should have the means and opportunity of benefiting his condition. tens of millions of acres of
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federal lands were eventually distributed and all that much of it fell into the hands of speculators, railroads and other unintended beneficiaries, the law provided an opportunity for land ownership for those who might not otherwise have had a chance at economic independence. a second law, passed by congress and signed by lincoln that same year facilitated the building of land-grant colleges. the moral act provided that the states be given title to certain federally owned lands that could be sold and the funds used to build agricultural and technical colleges. dozens of colleges and universities and i tried to count the number and i still don't know the exact number, i 69 ineen numbers like some instances or 100 and others. i think there were 60 or 70 that of that firstnse
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moral act of 1862 and there were additional ones additional laws that were established later on. the second moral act in the 1890's that affected african american institutions and made it possible for some of those schools to be created at that time. then similar measures in recent times where we have the introduction of tribal colleges and community colleges. these land-grant colleges gave ordinary americans easier access to higher education. and exposed them to opportunities for advancement they may not have had without the presence of these institutions. what it is doing is, it is not so much focusing on the classical education as much as it is teaching them practical kinds of things. how they're going to be able to survive as farmers and in the technical and mechanical fields. despite his own success without the benefit of a formal
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education, lincoln recognized the disadvantage on school men and women faced. both laws supported his belief that the legitimate object of government is to do for the butle what needs to be done which they cannot buy individual effort do so well for themselves. lincoln also recognized that government is constituted at that time could not solve all problems of inequality and injustice. his vision of america was one right with opportunity for those who are prepared with what this nation had to offer. it would be able to elevate themselves to the extent of their abilities and industry. with notable exception, black men enslaved are just emerging from slavery were disadvantaged. the fruits of the enslaved man or woman's labor enriched the
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slaveholder and kept the labor a good and impoverished. even if however he managed to be free, there was no support system that could assist in that transition. lincoln had no illusions that men accustomed to thinking of themselves as members of a superior race would embrace equality with those who just yesterday had been their property and alleged inferiors. his solution to this dilemma to encourage black men and women to give up their birthright in order that america's promise to be fulfilled for this remained left african-americans teaming. home andown no other recognizing their own contributions to the building of the nation, it was a sacrifice most were unwilling to make. but the end of the war, lincoln conceded that african-americans would have to be accommodated in this nation shaped by a new birth of freedom.
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the service of nearly 200,000 black men in the union military force convinced him and other levers -- lovers of liberty that such devotion deserved america's gratitude. his emerging acceptance of the politic maythe body or may not have been the beginning of a broader willingness to include african-americans in society. eliminated any talk of voluntary deportation or colonization outside of the united states. as it mirrored african-americans for fullts citizenship, it encouraged them to press that much harder for their vision -- vision of what america could be. in the years and decades that followed emancipation, their actions along with the efforts of nonblack supporters facilitated the repeal of black codes in the midwestern states,
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challenged jim crow legislation in the south, desegregated the educational system, and operated to stop housing and employment discrimination throughout the nation. the long civil rights movement beginning during this time and continuing throughout the facts of the great activist of the 1950's and 60's, benefited all americans because it brought them closer to lincoln's vision. our 16th president knew that the country would never meet the state of perfection but we knew it owed it to ourselves to come as close as was humanly possible to attaining it. to the 160 six ohio regiment in 1864, he reminded the soldier with the war was about. through a free government, they would have an open field and a fair chance for their industry, enterprise and intelligence. a free government would allow them equal privileges in the race of life with all its
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desirable humid aspirations. lincoln reminded them that the nation was worth fighting for. to secure such an inestimable jewel. to get theo our part nation closer to that state of perfection? again, lincoln provides the answer. in his speech to residents of indianapolis and february 1861 before the war had begun, he stopped on his way to take office in washington. he reminded them that the preservation of the union and the liberties enjoyed rested in their hands. it is your business to rise up and preserved the union and liberty for yourselves and not for me. not with politicians, not with presidents, not with office seekers he declared. americans would have to decide for themselves whether or not the country was worth fighting for and would have to act accordingly.
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there is some truth in the argument that those who have been denied at liberty hold it most dear. i have friends and acquaintances who believe as lincoln did in the promise of the declaration of independence. they have come from areas where freedom and liberty are neither expected nor permitted. recently, they have grown concerned that those freedoms they have come to enjoy an america will fade away. they are not alone. we would do well to remind ourselves of what lincoln said to the soldiers in indianapolis. with you is the question. shall the union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generations? only we have the answer to that question. thank you. [applause]
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>> i love your statement of emerging acceptance of blacks in society because we all recognize the role of lincoln's own evolution as coming to a certain position. do you think the military helped annette evolution? >> it had everything to do with it. lincoln first started out believing it was of no use to include black men to the military because they would not be strong enough to stand up against their former owners in the battlefield. he thought they would be cowards and run away. he found out quickly the black men were anything but that end.
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before the end of 1863, he was writing to people saying my commanders in the field are saying they are doing very well. if we are to be successful, it will be in part at least because of what these men are doing. he did understand that america owed a debt to these black men who helped to preserve the union. i think had he lived and i'm not supposed to do this because this is not what historians do, we don't speculate. i'm going to do it anyway. [laughter] i think had he lived, he would have pressed for any kind of assistance for the veterans. things would have been slower with everyone else. he still had certain feelings that the formerly enslaved who were not the veterans were not quite ready for citizenship. he probably would have taken it a little bit slower but for the veterans, absolutely. i think he would have put his
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full force behind giving them certain rights. the group whose status was most changed by abraham lincoln and the civil war is african-americans. we see very few african-americans at this meeting. what could the form due to make this meeting more attractive to african-americans? >> i don't know i've been trying to do it for 24 years. [laughter] and i have not been successful. although there are people of color in the audience. more here do a little but i'm really pleased that when i go places now, i do see african-americans in the audience. pa's livingn erie, on wednesday.
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least 10 or 12. i was very pleased that people did come out. i think an appoint to go out on a limb here, keep in mind i don't speak for all african-americans but this is what i think is happening. as a people we have have a tendency to stay away from places that we don't think we are necessarily expected to be. it's not that the form has done anything to discourage people. the form has done everything imaginable to bring people and but i think that still we have an issue about where we are welcome. i see it at public places as well. i tell this story all the time. my family went to the grand canyon many years ago. andere in the park all day during that entire time, we saw only six people of color and three of them were us.
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[laughter] i think it really does have to do with african americans not feeling that they are welcome or that they belong. inave brought my students the past here and they have absolutely loved it. that is what we have to do more of. we have to bring more students in and let them see that this is a great learning experience in many ways not just in terms of the civil war but in terms of the interaction as well. i come back here every year for two reasons. to learn for my colleagues who are experts in these areas that i am the expert in. and to see people that i have met over the years because i consider them friends. to get over that chasm that separates us. when you do some more work. pleased to see you
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as a speaker here and i thank you for your attendance. >> thank you. [applause] >> i am a first timer from raleigh, north carolina. >> welcome. >> thank you so much for being here. of the400 anniversary first african-americans from angola arriving in jamestown. -- notcelebrated celebrated but acknowledged in august at jamestown. that is 400 years where slavery began in british america and it lasted for 246 years until 1865. year ofnly in the 154th universal freedom in this
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country. i have reached out to several universities and their african-american department to try to determine, i cannot find in the research any studies done africansmber of imported to the united states or african-americans, the total number that lived, were born, lived and died in humans bondage. that number, i talked to several historians it could be as high as 24 million people. we only talk about the 4 million who were freed. i would love to see a study done maybe the form to take it on or a university such as howard. i realize the research would be incredibly difficult. to the census before 1790
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they don't exist but i would love to see a study when we can finally acknowledged the sin of slavery in the millions not just 4 million probably 20 to 30 million human beings who never breathed a life, a breath of freedom. >> yes absolutely i agree with you and the study needs to be done. if there is any wealthy person in the audience [laughter] this, is to bankroll would be happy to read the study in all seriousness. i think you're absolutely right this does need to be done. i think it would be great for the nation. it would be great for the world. it is history and i think we need to know the answer to that. if anyone is willing to raise the funds for that, i will stay around long enough to lead it. [laughter] >> i just wanted to let you know that abraham lincoln in 1858
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refused to sign a petition to permit african-american testimony in the state of illinois. he was joined by another. was that just a political statement or did he really believe it? i don't know and that's why would come to you, roger. i have not found anything that suggested that lincoln actually did anything about overturning some of those black laws that illinois had established. know h four douglas blasted him for having done that. when he became a presidential candidate, it was douglas who said he doesn't believe in the abolition sentiment of abraham lincoln because he remembered that lincoln had refused to do that.
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very well may have been because of politics. people do strange things because of politics. [laughter] we will never know. all we have to go by is what he said in the debates and that is not always very encouraging. of course, what he did after that. he did a lot after that that was beneficial to african-americans. i wish that someone could solve that problem for me. i hope that you would be able to do that because [laughter] i know that you studied the black laws and illinois. thank you so much. [applause] that was a wonderful speech. >> learn more about the people and events that shaped the civil war and reconstruction every day
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at 6 p.m. eastern huron c-span3. tonight on real america, the new girl. produced by the president's committee on government contracts which dramatizes racial tensions caused by the first hiring of a black secretary in an office doing federal contract work. here's a preview. now i will take you down and introduce you. wait. have to that's all i can say. are you the gentleman that has been complaining about the lack of office help? >> get someone to sit down at the desk. >> i have someone here for you. graduate from secretarial school, honor student, conscientious, loyal, eager to work. >> go on i don't believe it. she is outside would you like to meet her? tell her to have her pencil
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sharpened so we can get started. >> i think you will find your work cut out for you. >> have you do? -- how do you do? >> you should have seen his face. he just looked at me like he couldn't believe it. what did he say? he said how do you do. he said it twice. then he turned around and went back to his desk and said he would see me tomorrow. what did the other guy do? he smiled like it was some sort of a joke. and he took me down to the medical office. did anyone say anything about you being the first color girl in the office? >> the didn't have to you can see it in their faces.
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the girl in mr. nelson's office looked at me. maybe you just imagined all of this. >> is a crazy thing to say. why should she imagine it? it's the truth? you don't understand. >> yes i understand. you may not think i understand but i do. you think i can't understand because i'm your mother and i am older but i do. what you are going through is not new. girl, i had young to leave high school to get a job. i would have given anything to work in a shop. it just wasn't done where i lived. a negrover heard of league in in a shop or white
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girls came in to buy things. cleaning house and i cleaned house and cried at night until i got married. mother had something she wanted very bad and couldn't have. and cried about all night, i don't know. now, i have you children. i watched you grow up and finish school. in a shops working and crying her eyes out because she can't work in an office. maybe she can work in an office. if she can, i don't want to see her throwing away the chance because she is afraid. maybe those people hate us, maybe some of them do. maybe she is imagining a lot of it. dreaming up trouble to hide her fears rated this is the way it is, she's got to find out. the only way to find out is to go to work tomorrow or it.
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girlwatch more of the new tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern huron american history tv. monday night on the communicators. a consumer technology association president talks about political ads on social media platforms. i don't think it is a fair burden to put on a company like facebook or others to say you have to make this decision. i think there's a way of dealing with that but that is not for me to say it's not for congress to make a decision on. i hope to make one respecting the first amendment because it has not gotten a lot of respect lately. some of the traditional media to big of a down saying that's unfair, the first amendment protects everyone. andffects political speech we have to be really careful. if the first amendment is being
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torn up on college campuses, by traditional media, by attacks on facebook. the first amendment is so essential to who we are as a nation i hate to see it eroded. >> watch the communicators on c-span2. gary gallagher is the coeditor of civil war places. scholars to discuss places they deem significant to the civil war. next, historians who contributed to the book discuss their selections. this is part of the gettysburg college civil war institute annual summer conference. welcome to our afternoon panel, everybody. this is a panel on the book "civil war places." we


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