Something Neither The Proclamation Nor The Bill of Rights Can Do

Over on the section of this site entitled About Civil War, we have been examining the formation of the first African-American regiments in the Civil War. We recently discussed the formation of the First Louisiana Native Guard in New Orleans.

I am paying close attention to individuals whose stories deserve retelling along the way. I am especially encouraged by the many shining examples of valor amidst the odds which many faced. We can learn important principles from them.

One of the goals that I hope to achieve over the next five years is to be able to identify all of the principles that my ancestors lived by. I want to also incorporate those principles in my own life. As I have researched my genealogy and American History, I have learned about their many successes. I feel that if we moved forward with the same faith and ambition that they possessed in redefining this nation, we could be beacons in the world in our day.

Even though we are no longer in chains, I do not feel we have achieved the degree of freedom that our ancestors anticipated that we would have. The type of freedom I speak of cannot be legislated. No Proclamation or Bill of Rights or any other person can secure it.

The freedom I speak of is to be found when we all strive for excellence, when we all stand a little taller, and try each day to be better than we were the day before. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, we did not just have one or two leaders to emulate. Everyone worked together and pulled their own weight.

We will be introduced on About Our Freedom to person after person, hero after heroine, who overcame far greater challenges than we will ever face. I hope that we can identify with a few of them here. I recently found an example of excellence in Captain Andre' Cailloux of Company E of the First Louisiana Native Guards.  In my estimation the E stands for excellence.  Cailloux and the other freemen of his regiment along with the ex-slave of the Third Regiment Native Guards changed the way the Government perceived the abilities and contributions of African Americans in their day.

The lack of faith and belief they faced along with the prejudice and ill treatment did not cause them to forget they were men who could make a difference. I hope there comes a day when the valiant sacrifice of heroes such as these will not remain absent from the Civil War story. I feel encouraged to move forward tapping the roots of excellence within me.

This is what I feel are the essence of the words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:



Total Pageviews