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whoa whoa whoa while nasa was a bustling community nestled in one northern outpost for the northern army it becomes a really good it's an area as the northern arms or defeated without they've sent items some perishable goods they control national remember tennessee was the first state to return to the union in a period of the civil war and in essence tennessee becomes a testing ground our laboratory for reconstruction are one of the features of this novel was a large and growing african american community some slave some for many free blacks those blacks who haven't escaped slavery true freedom to purchase they have resided in actual embodiment of the civil war they reside there for two or three generations they now mingle with the growing population of contraband contraband wobbles african americans captured during the civil war who were
transported back the northern arms to a safe area for the would be allowed to be re enslaved and used within the confederate cause nash who had a series of several large contraband camps especially northern partners say got this mixture of slave and free you've got those northern armies that are occupied nashville you've got a large population of vegetarians who really weren't serious southern sympathizes with syria's confederates you've got a business community and all this mixture and bring to go barbara rich diverse community are not so much interested in recapturing the past but saying tank for new community like in the contraband campus primarily life for women children and older men they were kept there it would be unfair analogy to
compare them to the concentration camp but there is what people did not travel they were supplied with the wind and they weren't free to travel young african american males who were strong enough to fight were pressed into service and become a part of the league's efforts of the union army so he's cut baguette a prominent women children and older people there was a plaid bow the northern army they were told we shall reflect on bearable sides but they were pleasant eric one of the great misconceptions that was a great period of jubilee of freedom for african americans and they were falling so were african americans and national who had been slaves were still kept this contraband slights many african americans have been used to build fortnightly union fortifications edge so that was everyone was at work there was an idleness that wasn't peddling that wasn't sitting around now one of the great designers among the african americans slave and free
what's your education meyer says what would the contraband camp african american slave probably had more dire conditions in slavery it was a huge hit and it was a pitched outsider it may have been teens i that was certainly epidemics call ran rampant contraband camps there was food provided but it wasn't the best quality from it was a whole life contraband camps were not happy places and workplaces of sorrow there are places where families were displaced people have been brought in on rail trains and dumped at the real hit from the real hit they listened to the cockpit
there's been a piece education would provide for people who'd been denied the ability to read and write and communicate a great chance african americans and slave knew about education they often seen and heard stories of free blacks were educated base all preachers who often could read and read the bible and bible reading was a great desire among people who were fairly oh what a hopeless existence because education about reading over the possibility of salvation and heaven and even among the african american there's that old new england idea that all appear to idea that one can read the scriptures one can hope for eternal salvation education also meant a chance to communicate
to write to say and ideas education that the au to pass on something to the young and during that period especially lebanese of flavor education was not available to african americans nominating fifties tennessee will pass a law against public education in america and several southern states had sunni a lot so one of the great desire as in a period of freedom was devoted to be educated and to educate your children that's right ari union forces come into national occupy national there's an interesting activity among the free blacks those were not enslaved but those have been banned three now has the opportunity again for education they begin to all for parochial education or proprietary education that's where you pay an owner famous macedonians james carroll napier his
father operated a preschool you come in you pay your nipple you'd get your education the schools were primarily for free blacks and once the sleeves a rat and contraband can't you find free blacks rushing out to set up the schools within contraband can't these all the trees of a group that would've been identified if you can imagine as the middle class those of the blacks who could afford his education those great desire for it the american spirit during peak of reconstruction the american spirit during the period of reconstruction was how religious groups might help these people who were suddenly free what do the slave maid what do the family and
slavery and among northern religious groups missionary activities but in this instance missionary activities are directly tied to education and so many of the aims of the commissioners coming in and the late civil war period and the early post war period to provide radiation they become the teachers for the formerly enslaved they also become the teachers for many of the free blacks because these white missionaries represent a higher level of education and adam experienced that free but so among the southern african american population education as one of the driving forces in the post civil war years yes the missionaries who comes out most realize how they're coming at a great risk because the south and fully accepted to summon white population and fully accepted the idea of freedom for the full slate
freedom is one thing education to something else at a time when you didn't have a public education vast public education for southern whites you would have these missionaries you might consider church work but the church where a religious life to be about is what about basic an extended education for african americans why why why there is a there's a resentment education it looked on as the great equalizer and you must understand that it appeared at the civil war the southern whites especially porcelain wives are looking for something that separates them from slate from the metro it was obvious that any free man was a pure you to a slight now black and white herbal fried it's also obvious that many educated that it's a period any idea to
ignore that these missionaries now this possibility of education to be african american who was seen as the perpetual underclass it's going to come to equalize it's gonna provide equalization that threatened the status quo and the south in fact that threatened bean casserole much of this resistance played up the burnings and many of the buildings of the sites were burned hard this will take the form of a restaurant of the missionaries so those white missionaries that come into these african american unit is the white missionaries are common in nashville tennessee are welcomed with open arms by the white groups know the white people there they're seen as coming in it interfering or interfering with the status quo they're challenging the position of who provides for the negro and at this point and appeared out of the war south that i'm interested in saying it might provide for the negro for the
enslaved and the world becomes a symbol of the cornerstone last week ask a question because they're all the opportunities and the immediate opportunity with an opportunity to be educated and everyone to remember that all takes to educate someone is to be educated herself african americans were also aware that in el attar were great mysteries contain in that book called hold of babel but someone else had always interpreted for you if you can read you can read about why you're so if you can read about yourself you can charge a path to salvation you can provide future if not in this world in the next world far superior to anything you never
know yes in salvation it's in celebration the sleeves had always been taught are those of the world there was another place that there was this great get in that morning when everyone will be free but they were also talk that there would only be provided the bones who lived a good and righteous life in slavery they were told by the white minister or the black minister sound of a master what constituted a good and right light now they could read the bible and find that out for themselves additionally covers opportunity of a group and write a line for their children when they want to raise in a religious family and community the other benefit of being able to read and write was that you could communicate with someone who was a wiccan you could leave him message you could write down recipes you could pass on directions and all of this was nebulous
if you could read and write but now enabled the slave but observe this along the white and asked where's there was great respect in the south for those children of the masters who were highly educated the house laying anyone appeals they would've learned this now you could raise your social status gain salvation all this one vehicle education what i'm out among the missionary activities of groups that come and tennessee immediately after the civil war is the west and friedman great society and the american missionary association also another group very active in supporting the former slaves will be the fourth chaplains of the union army these groups come together and they look at where they can benefit a former flight nationals an excellent location because there are so many
enslaved as so many in the contraband camp for such a large community national as our sonics on location because the union army controls unoccupied national union general in charge of national is clinton boat and this cotton fisk in his early life had been a man of great religious and moral conviction he had worked as a mission there are another important figure in the formation of really fierce his arrest us now who had been a union missionary they've all worked with the formerly enslaved but actually an experiment it's a great chance at celebration an experiment can these people be educated so the american missionary association in the west in friedman's a side will apply to the congress under the terms of the freedman say about friedman's bureau which provided funding for opportunities for education and medical need among
us or frisked and crab up and many madam case spends the first principle they contribute personal lives they also contribute much of their salary in working for these missionaries association that's the initial the seed money from that be applied to the congress and a new two friedman's act funds are provided for fiscal and national or howard university in washington early schools educating the point of this free coloreds coup as it was a rigid doesn't have opened its doors january the nih at sixty six years as we're traveled throughout the contraband camps and we're traveled route
national inward travel around the country that i was as just opportunity you saw groups coming two and three and four will there got young chap baby coming walking on foot carrying the sec or poke as it was called making a while would pay a trio to the site of the former union hard to beat union army hospital side which is the side of the union station a national union station had been constructed by union forces as they were moving so they needed to train station a cholera epidemic overtook national saw husband had a development this about the barracks from the hospital to become the site the first building barracks side of this coup people showed up and the missionaries were there and at first they were taught basic idea of like what a teddy yes all the fly
this is great the original site would be the union army the original site for fisk free corkscrew with a union army hospital barracks constructed by the union army and the color epidemic joe fiscal allow these buildings to become the site of the screw and the missionary activity people want people wore free and for two families three families were bringing children and bring themselves to the site be educated the name implies a lot it was a free school so in this case there was no intuition charge your desire was to be educated when the missionaries the white missionaries first saw these people and to teach them basic deportment come in sit down the quiet they were surprisingly they were surprised by the fact that this wasn't
difficult because these people deserve education they would do just about whatever they were told to prove to receive this wonderful get education and there's rumor alphabet base account the basic steals heart but again the uniqueness was it was an audience that didn't have to be anyway admonished of pushed they were anxious to school opened anywhere night at sixty six and it's estimated that the end of it where there were more than three hundred persons there by the end of many of the first year there were almost five hundred people at the site the site is bustling the site exploding the site small site is rather than that the day that a hospital that was built to accommodate a hundred and fifty or two hundred and fifty six patients his son of the home for five hundred anxious his hours for slaves and so relax while also caught the
design education seems to be universal among this african american population better in fact for the first five to seven years people will range of ages become mothers and grandmothers didn't sin children they brought them and once they were there they when the question to flee we have two and three generations as old as fifty five sixty and children as young as seven or a learned to read and right learning to memorize babel passages learning from rote memory of songs and riddles and rats what is mental exercise they are testing their own intelligence how much can i learn how much can our store and i was surprised because the challengers seemed limitless they could learn and prosper
and they do this well into the evening there was simply no a preschool day the educational process and your coach who was all day long they also learned a certain degree of humanity from the white missionaries that they may not have expected that had not been there what they are learning they're what later generations to call multiple to live as bonnie what are frightened sixty sixty eight and seventy one you have the basics of education because that's what's desire that's what's needed that includes providing in tennessee in nashville in a conservative to get the first public school law mandating public education art question is who would be the teacher's many of these early this beautifully become most teachers
but it also will necessitate or allow a court given shifted risk the public schools are going to teach the basic what is the reading the wide the site during his recall mathematics now the direction of this school there comes a move to become fisk university a university can prepare teachers a university could prepare leaders and the curriculum that selected is the very classic or basic ritual really similar to the north northeast and skin and north eastern school of art and a curriculum at selected is verisimilitude the northeastern universities of the period religion mathematics foreign language greet the local state it's a classical education will be the direction for fisk university
this is his book oh he mumbled the title was changed from preschool to university there's another dilemma because the friedman's bureau which is providing the funds and university ceases to hack an act of congress to issue never pay the cost of education people the buildings have become dilapidated so while the name takes on university the financial condition is severe and great initial it's hoped that many of the former students not employees teachers can give back enough and they do make sacrifices but the conditions become from beck to worse as fisk free skin becomes fisk university the conditions are so bad that many months the faculty in pay there's no way to pay the faculty are students endeavoring to come to college
or come to this place now have very were very little and very few resources financial resources are and i don't look at the garrison up at one point to cut cost is decided the desert would no longer be serviced part of the evening meal this that is art a sharp cost cutting measure really shows as financially how bad things were local churches are asked to support and they do but the sad story is the government of age and seventy one many are questioning robert fisk will continue to do that one of the activities that went on from this can fisk university we're in moments of leisure time students would say they would share the old songs they would tell stories are this beautiful
sensitive moment the faculty would stop and listen and one person who stops and listens man named george l y you're dwight has the task of the treasure but georgia white believes that there's a real interest in hearing college students perform it should be remembered that this is also of all of the minstrel show so the idea of a same group is not unusual people in places like new york and chicago and boston are going to see singing oops white believes that might also be a natural audience or natural constituency to hear college students were african american for songs the the analysis of the minstrel is one that would be challenging his challenge but he did not have these devices minstrels he thought of them as college students and in all
honesty a black college student in african american college student was considerably uniqueness remember there have been no such unity as students from a college id and about african americans traveling in groups and they have been one of two african americans who attended some schools in the north but a college of african americans was a unique and you still says there are also what the present so that they won't the idea students going out to raise funds is not immediately embraced by the school's board of trustees are even some of the faculty members they wonder what they will encounter i wonder how the war will precede it becomes a point of content
considerable discussion among the school's board and its trustees eventually white and krabill will take the last fall along some donated funds to send these young people out or two it comes at the darkest moment have an excuse to read because of that tab the second one dollar up in the treasure book of whether the yes yes yes the first triple digit lead she'll be in tennessee to town called out white residents come out and they are amazed not simply at the harmony that didn't perform but looking at these young african americans and poor and also the fact that some african american young people see themselves in the jubilee singers they see something they've never knew before a proud african american college student as the sailors even to
American Experience
Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory
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Interview with Reavis Mitchell, Historian
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Reavis Mitchell Interview about a group of young ex- slaves in Nashville, Tennessee, who set out on a mission to save their bankrupt school by giving concerts. Traveling first through cities in the North, then on to venues across Europe, the Jubilee Singers introduced audiences to the power of spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery. Driven to physical collapse and even death, the singers proved more successful - and more inspirational - than anyone could have imagined.
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American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, lynching, Mississippi
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Chicago: “American Experience; Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory; Interview with Reavis Mitchell, Historian,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 30, 2020,
MLA: “American Experience; Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory; Interview with Reavis Mitchell, Historian.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 30, 2020. <>.
APA: American Experience; Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory; Interview with Reavis Mitchell, Historian. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from