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FIVE FOR FREEDOM Comes to Alexandria Black History Museum
July 13, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm$5
I’m pleased to be bringing the story of FIVE FOR FREEDOM: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army to this important museum in Alexandria, Va. I am grateful to the museum for inviting me to give a lecture and book signing on July 13.
The venue is also historic and is a shameful remnant and a reminder of of America’s original sin of slavery, a place where human beings were nothing more than chattel and chained in the basement of this structure in today’s tony Old Town Alexandria. The the building was once part of a larger complex used by the slave trading firm Franklin and Armfield. This is precisely the immoral system that the five African Americans with John Brown at Harpers Ferry in October 1859 dedicated their lives to abolishing. Alexandria was occupied by Union forces early during the Civil War, but it retains strong Southern symbolism, including a statue of a Confederate solder at the main intersection in town. I recall seeing Confederate flags flying from all four corners when I first visited on a family trip in the early 1950s. Today, Alexandria acknowledges but still struggles with its past.