“history’s best” system cue presenting history’s best on pbs. Underwriting credits



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KEVIN GAINES


Legal segregation in the army reflected that of the broader society. And so many African-Americans opposed black participation in the war, believing that African-Americans would be foolish to participate in a war abroad when their rights were being trampled upon at home.

“YOU GO, I’LL GO WIT’ YOU”


You go, I’ll go wit’ you, open your mouth, I’ll speak for you,

Lord, if I go tell me what to say. They won’t believe in me!


THE LOS ANGELES FREEMAN

Shall the Negro go to war and fight for the country’s flag? Yes, yes, for every reason of true patriotism. He will have an opportunity of proving to the world his real bravery, worth and manhood. The Los Angeles Freeman.


NARRATOR

Four regular black regiments were among the first to arrive in Tampa. They were not received hospitably.


KEVIN GAINES

If you can imagine within a Jim Crow social order predicated on the subordination of blacks, the appearance of masses of black soldiers in uniform was a direct threat to white supremacy. So there were numerous altercations, some of them quite violent, in Tampa.


NARRATOR

On June 6th, drunken white Ohio volunteers seized a local black child. They came up with a contest: the winner was the soldier who sent a bullet through the sleeve of the boy’s shirt. Though the child survived, the incident enraged black troops. They stormed the streets of Tampa, wrecking the saloons and cafes that had refused them service.






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