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in the drama of American progress. We say progress, for we know that no matter what may be the desires of the men of Expediency who rule, or seem to,  the affairs of the North, the tendencies are for Liberty. God speed the conflict. The strife will be deadly, but the end is certain. It  matters not whether the government is successful, whether the union is preserved, the ideas underlying the struggle will triumph.” — Weekly Anglo-African, April 20, 1861.

April 12, 2011, will mark the  150th anniversary of the firing on Ft. Sumter and the start of the American Civil War. The African American Civil War Memorial Foundation will commemorate the beginning Civil War with celebrities reading from Civil War period newspapers, speeches and other documents announcing the coming of the war and its profound effect on the ending of slavery in America. Celebrities also will read from selected press responses to the election of President Lincoln and the anti-slavery platform of the Republican Party of 1860.

The African American Civil War Memorial lists the names of 209,145 Black union soldiers who joined President Lincoln to save the Union and keep it united under one flag.

The monument, located at the corner of 10th and U streets N.W., Washington, D.C., was built by a private foundation that operates a museum. On July 18, 2011, the museum will host a Grand Opening for its newly renovated 5,000-square-foot-space with new exhibits, artifacts and state-of-the- art educational programs adjacent to the monument.

“Little Known Stories of Blacks and the Civil War” is a four-part Black History Month series, sponsored by The African American Civil War Museum and Monument and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). For more information, visit http://www.afroamcivilwar.org/our-story.html, call (202) 667-2667 or email: info@amcivilwar.org. Also, http://www.asalh.org/, (202) 238-5910 or info@asalh.net.

Dr. Frank Smith Jr. is executive director of the African American Civil War Museum and Monument.

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