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Military Lecture – Fighting for Citizenship: Black Union Soldiers on the Battlefield and in Politics

October 21, 2020

American Civil War coloured regiment recruitment poster. The painting is of eighteen Black soldiers wearing grey Union uniforms. There is a White man standing at the far left wearing a blue uniform. There is a small Black child at the far right who is holding a drum.

Image: 1864 Union recruitment broadside, P. S. Duval and Son, Philadelphia

Guelph Museums’ 2020-2021 military lecture series is going digital! 

Dana Weiner presents, Fighting for Citizenship: Black Union Soldiers on the Battlefield and in Politics.

During the U.S. Civil War, African American men fought to join the Union ranks. Their struggle was just one operation in a much longer rights campaign that both free and enslaved people fought. Across the nation, thousands of Black men believed that they must join in the effort to defeat the Confederate States of America, but they confronted initial resistance to their offers of service. As soon as they could, they took advantage of the opportunities to participate in the Union war effort. This talk will explore Black men’s military service, their challenges and triumphs in wartime, and how they used their skills and experiences to gain political and civil rights in the post-war era.

Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies.

About Dana Weiner

Photo of Dana Weiner, wearing a blue scarf and smiling at the camera.

Dr. Dana Elizabeth Weiner is associate professor of history at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her publications include “Legal Ambiguities on the Ground: Black Californians’ Land Claims, 1848-1870” in Beyond the Borders of the Law: Critical Legal Histories of the North American West(University Press of Kansas, 2018) and Race and Rights: Fighting Slavery and Prejudice in the Old Northwest, 1830-1870 (Northern Illinois University Press, 2013). Her current research concerns citizenship claims and rights activism among people of African descent in early California.

Did you miss the live event? Watch the recording Military Lecture: Fighting for Citizenship below:


October 21, 2020
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Guelph Museums