The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum

The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum The African American Civil War Museum shares the largely unknown story of those American heroes that fought to end slavery and secure the blessings of liberty for all.
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Operating as usual

01/20/2021
Inauguration of Joseph R Biden Jr. 46th President of the United States

AACWM Watch Party
The African American Civil War Memorial Museum will host a live stream watch party event from 11:30AM to 1:00PM witnessing the inauguration of Joseph Biden as America's 46th president and Kamala Harris as the 46th vice president. Online access will be limited. The event will be hosted by museum director, former DC Councilman and founding member of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) Dr. Frank Smith, Jr. Special guests will include representatives from Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Great Discussion on "Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail". Moderator Dr. Frank Smith and special guest Rev. Dexte...
01/18/2021

Great Discussion on "Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail". Moderator Dr. Frank Smith and special guest Rev. Dexter Nutall and Rev. Paul Saddler .

To view use link below.

https://zoom.us/rec/share/LAQ9yvyZdoeGOrceMDfh73u_oskvURSF3_036Rg4mVc4AACPizk7s9byaBSRUkbx.5qJ8t96R0gbgOEqq?startTime=1610985826000

Rev. Dexter Nutall
"The Letter to the White Church," and its compelling similarities to "Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail"

A Letter to the White Church©
June 29, 2020
I invite you to peer into a letter that I offered my congregation, in both sermonic and written form. As a preacher, pastor and advocate for social justice, I am compelled to address America’s stain of sin and the white church’s complicity in it. I believe, as Martin Luther King encouraged, that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice and this is my attempt to tug at the arc and to force it to bend. As one who is deeply concerned about the soul of America and the church, I call upon the church to be lovingly prophetic to the world and to itself; to create unity and a bond of peace, where the Spirit of God can do miraculous things. I offer this letter, as I do myself, as a conduit for change.
__________________________________________________________________
On April 12, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Birmingham
Alabama for leading a nonviolent demonstration for human rights. While he was being detained, he was given a newspaper that contained a statement written by 8 white preachers. The statement was entitled a “A Call for Unity” and it essentially was a critique of Dr. King’s leadership of sit-ins, and marches, and demonstrations
in pursuit of civil rights. The statement went on to celebrate the response of Birmingham law enforcement for being enforcers and keepers of the peace. In response to their statement, Dr. King composed a writing which we know today as
“A Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” In it, he reminded his accusers of the obligation of a prophet to speak truth to power, to seek justice on behalf of the oppressed, and of their complicity in creating the circumstances that gave rise to the demonstrations by their deafening silence and absence. Now, I am no Martin Luther King, Jr. But I am called by the same GOD, redeemed by the same Christ, and committed to the same cause of justice, as should be every person who claims to be a follower of Jesus. The truth is that I am
burdened by the spiritual condition of this country. I am grieved at the manipulation of the faith this nation claims to be built upon and how it has been compromised and prostituted without any response from those who have lended their pulpits and platforms to shameless race bating and provocative rhetoric. Quite frankly I’m tired of people – especially those who are connected to the
church - acting as if there is no race problem in America. So today, I am compelled to take a different approach to the sermonic moment. I’ve written a letter to the church. No, not New Bethel, but the universal church and specifically the white church. My prayer is that the Spirit of GOD will move on the hearts and
minds of all will listen.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I greet you in the name of the one who is an advocate, mediator, liberator, and friend of all who call Him Christ. I write because I am a member of the body of Christ who happens to be a black man. I identify myself this way because I am constantly reminded of both realities, however the latter in not so pleasant ways. I am clear and confident that I and others who look like me are made in the image of GOD, as you should be as well. Thus, my skin color should not matter. But recent events are painful reminders that skin color does matter in this country – even to those who claim to be part of the same body. So, I come in love because that is the heart and manner of Christ, but with concern for the condition and future of the
church. I do not need to remind you of recent events. Once again, we have been confronted with the loss of black and brown lives in multiples. So we find ourselves at a moment where again the original sin of this country is wreaking havoc in the public square. It would be bad enough it was only in the public
square. But circumstances suggest it is also in board rooms, in towns and community halls, and even in churches. White supremacy and racism are infused into the soil of America, and they continue to produce weeds resulting in brutality
to black and brown bodies and inequities too numerous to mention.
I must remind you that this is nothing new. History reveals that it was white Christians, some of whom are exalted as founding fathers of the nation, that led the charge in using Christianity to strip an entire people of their culture, humanity and
dignity. We realize that this narrative is not one of the past when we consider statistics of those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, that 1 out of every 3 black men will be incarcerated for some period of time in their lives, and the communities that receive the inadequate educational resources. The list is disparate treatment is endless.
But most concerning is the fact that much of the debate about whether systemic racism even exists is taking place among those who claim allegiance to the same GOD. I suggest that part of this disconnect is a lack of understanding for how a racialized society forms the way we see the world and how we see one another. The very fact that we refer to one another based on skin color at
minimum means we live in a racialized society. Therefore, race has a formative effect. While I do not doubt that most who say they are not racist mean well and have no malice of heart, there is a blindness to certain factors that make us ready to
invoke double standards and cause us to think what we think and feel what we feel. The tragedy is that this blindness even impacts our understanding of who Jesus is and the Gospel He represents. Please understand that I do not write to make a political statement. No political party has a patent on racism. I write to make a
Gospel statement in hopes to provide a foundation for engagement and action to move the church toward the kind of environment that GOD can use to ignite revival.
So to my white brothers and sisters, here is what I would like for you to know:
First, it is offensive when you tell us you do not see color. The narrative of American culture is that whoever has the power, makes the rules. Moreover, my observation is that whoever makes the rules makes them to favor of themselves. The fact is there has never been a time in this county where whiteness has been
disconnected from power. Therefore, if you are white you are afforded certain privileges and presumptions based strictly on the color of your skin. So you can be white and have no regard or concern for basic considerations of life. This, my friends, is the definition of white privilege. Meanwhile, people of color do not
have the luxury of assuming they will walk away from the next inquiry from those who are supposed to protect them. Not even basic assumptions of life, safety, or
well-being can be made by people of color. So when you tell us you do not see color, you tell us that we do not matter. The book of Revelation declares that people from every nation and all tribes and all languages will surround the altar of GOD to give unified worship, no worship being more valuable or significant than
any other. Because GOD sees color as an expression of diversity and a unique expression of the image of GOD.
Secondly, love of GOD and love of country are not the same. In fact, love of country at the expense of love for your neighbor, as Jesus commands, is idolatry. People of color have fought, bled, and died for this country, but we are treated differently on our own soil. This is why I am confused by those who have such tension with even the sentiment that black lives matter. You do not have to
agree with an organization or a movement to affirm the humanity of black and brown bodies. This is why people of color are angry and frustrated and tired.
There can be no love without accountability and there can be no relationship without mutual commitment even when there is a cost to be paid for it. Elevation of your nation to the height of GOD is sin. It is even more shameful when such idolatry is at expense of another life. You cannot serve two masters. You must
choose which master you serve.
Thirdly, there is no justice without sacrifice. The Bible declares that
everything is purified with blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Jesus pays the ultimate price and penalty for our sins with His own blood so that those who confess Him can have restored relationship with GOD. That is what justice does. Justice restores relationship with GOD. Justice then is relational, and it requires that a price be paid. Moreover, GOD gives to us the ministry of reconciliation in order that we might be reconciled to one another. I suggest, then, that racial reconciliation requires that a price be paid, and that it be paid by the one who holds the power. That means that your cognitive support of
justice is not enough. As faith without works is dead so are empty statements, texts, tweets and prayers that are not followed by feet on pavement, voices holding governments accountable, and reallocation resources and power to make right what
has always been wrong in this country. To my brothers and sisters whose skin has been kissed by the sun: First, understand that we are in a spiritual fight. A Catholic priest by the
name of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once described the dichotomy of life as best as I’ve heard it explained. He said: “We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are a spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.” It is
human nature to emphasize our sensory experience. Yes, racism is real. Yes, racism is systemic. Yes, racism is sin. White supremacy is no less real and sinful. They are demonic forces that express themselves in very real ways through people. But Paul is right when he reminds us that our battle is not against flesh and blood
enemies but principalities and evil in an unseen world. Friends, that is good news because as heirs of the Most High GOD, we have access to resources and power that is greater than the enemy, and our battle is not ours. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Secondly, I don’t have to remind you that we are descendants of people for
whom life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is still a fairy-tale. We are inhabitants of a country that has made us promises that are yet unfulfilled. As Dr. King stated America has given the Negro people a bad check that still has not been satisfied. We still bear the consequences of promises unfulfilled. But we are also
the descendants of people who sang songs in the night. We stand on the shoulders of those who prayed and trusted GOD when nothing they saw suggested they should. The good news is that the GOD of yesterday, is the GOD of today, and will be the GOD of tomorrow. And the same GOD who kept his people while enslaved in Egypt and parted the Red Sea to make way for their escape; the same
GOD who made a promise to HIS people and ushered HIS people into the land of the promise; the same GOD who emboldened HIS people as they marched and protested and boycotted is the GOD who loves the oppressed and comforts the
poor in spirit; who comforts those who mourn and blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. This GOD hears our prayers and fights for us. So where does this leave us? Again, I confess that I have no answers, only lots of questions. But I am certain that there is no authority greater than our GOD and no power that matches the unified body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Allow me to make a few suggestions for what will be necessary to give visible witness to power and presence of GOD as we make our way through this storm:
Repentance
The history of race relations in America is deep and painful. The wounds of racism in this country will not heal without acknowledgement of that history, the pain it has caused, and the realities it has created even up to this very moment.
There can be no healing without repentance. Repentance requires confession and movement in the exact opposite direction. The history of racism and discrimination demands intentional lament that creates space for the internalization of the stories of a people whose blood has been shed at the hands of those who were white. Why are we unable to just move forward? Because history is not so forgiving as to divorce itself from implications in the present. There are generations of people who have benefited and continue to benefit from slavery and racism. Likewise, there are generations of people of color who suffer trauma from the images and stories of beatings, the lynching's, rapes, and family separations over and over and over again. There can be no reconciliation under such circumstances without humble repentance and redress.
Redistribution
The benefits that have inured in favor of the majority race in this country at the expense of people of color cannot be quantified. But these benefits reveal themselves in the form of economic opportunity or the lack thereof. The Bible is clear about the obligation to make whole those who have been exploited for the sake of another. My point here is simply to suggest that those who are serious about being bridge builders and repairing the race-relations might consider committing yourself to some form of resource redistribution that makes a difference in the life of a Christian community of color. We appreciate your prayers and sentiments and ask that you speak and influence your community at every opportunity. But prayers, calls, and tweets are not enough. Reallocate your resources. Create seats at tables and places on platforms so the body can enjoy the breadth of experience and perspective within the body of Christ. Use your influence to create space and partner with those who do not look like you.
Relocation
Those who best know how to heal hurts are those who have been its victims. In the face of the winds of systemic challenges and opposition emerged one of the greatest gifts GOD has given to the world in the black church. The black church personifies the meaning of leadership and infinite grace even in persecution.
Perhaps, the entire body of Christ would be served if those who enjoy the presumptions of power and privilege were to remove themselves from comfortable spaces of entitlement and commit to learning from leaders of color. If nothing else, you will experience the feeling of being the minority rather than the one who holds power. But more importantly, I suspect you will actually hear stories and perspectives that you have not heard before because you have never had to listen. As I stated at the outset, I have far more questions than answers. However, I am clear that the bride of Christ has a decision to make. We can humble ourselves to the Spirit of GOD, the work and the ways of Jesus, and experience the Kingdom of GOD on Earth; or we can disregard our obligations to one another for the sake of maintaining power, privilege, and preference. What I know is – this is the moment. How we respond to this moment will define how the world views the witness of Jesus Christ and His church for generations to come. The disease of racism cannot be treated without consistency and commitment from those who have the heart of Christ. GOD is ready, willing and able if we are. I pray for conviction that provokes us to action in order that unity can be born in a way that allows the seeds hope and healing to yield a harvest of righteousness and justice.
Rev. Dexter U. Nutall, Senior Pastor
New Bethel Baptist Church

01/18/2021
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Please join us at 11 am today for "The Letter to the White Church," and its compelling similarities to "Dr. King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail" . A discussion with Dr. Frank Smith and Rev. Dexter Nutall.

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See It, Be Inspired

The mission of the African American Civil War Museum is to correct a great wrong in history that largely ignored the enormous contributions of the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops. It tells the stories and preserves for posterity the historic roles these brave men of African, European, and Hispanic descent played in ending slavery and keeping America united under one flag. The Museum uses a rich collection of artifacts, documents, primary sources and technology to create a meaningful learning experience for families, students, Civil War enthusiasts and historians about the period from the American Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond.

It is the vision of the Museum to motivate and inspire greater civic pride through exposure to the history of the United States Colored Troops which shows abolitionists, organizers, recruiters, politicians, and everyday soldiers working together to achieve the American goals of Freedom and Union.


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1st USCT (American Civil War) with Anthropologist Johnny Coleman, observing U.N.’s International Day Of Remembering Enslavement & Emancipation, at Camp Barker Contraband Camp, at intersections of Vermont Ave NW & R St NW and S ST NW & 13 ST NW, Washington, DC. August 23rd is the U.N.’s International Day for Remembering Enslavement and Emancipation Movements... They Freed Themselves!!! Featuring CPL Marquett Milton, The Soldier of U Street aka L.I.O.N. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730564063831728/?ref=share Back when America was “Great,” during a time of enslavement, slave catching, lynching, political exclusion, unfair sharecropping practices, segregation and other forms of racial & class oppression.... Between 1861- 1866, there were over 209,145 people that helped make up nearly 170 regiments of an element of US armed forces called, the Bureau of the United States Colored Troops (or USCT): *6 Cavalry Regiments *13 Heavy Artillery Regiments *10 Light Artillery Regiments * 137 Infantry Regiments * American Civil War regiments sizes ranged from 300 to 1000 men in each unit. * There were some unaccounted / unattached units, such as engineer detachments, some small Black & culturally diverse militias, etc. * Individual sailors that made up 25% of US Navy They were 10% of US Army and 25% of the US Navy during the American Civil War & Reconstruction Era. Through fighting first for their self interest of emancipation, equality, education, equity, enfranchisement/suffrage, safety and self rule of their own communities, they also ended up turning tide of war in favor of the unionists, in most fatigued hour. They also changed narrative to be about actual freedom instead of money, power, influence, territory and inconveniences. They were the symbols of true freedom, just like all colored US servicemen between 1775 to 1863, because through their own involvement and own efforts, they freed themselves! (They did not just wait on support from President Lincoln, they took self-initiative to play a part in their own story and make change in their lives). Over 7,122 commissioned officers led the enlisted body of the USCT, a body which was nearly 200,000 people of color, mostly of African Descent; but, it also included, but not limited to, anyone of color, ranging from Latino-Americans/Hispanics to Native-American to South Asians and Pacific Islanders, anyone dark skinned. Many of which were Afro-mixed people. Several were devout Christians (especially Methodists & Baptists), but it also included Muslims and Jews, a very diverse crowd of different ethnicities and religions. Most commissioned officers were White-Americans; however, about 125 commissioned officers were of African Descent. Not all colored participants served within the Bureau. Some regional, state, county, and municipal units were independent from the Bureau, and there were also several people of African descent and other people of color that joined as individuals, in what we have perceived for the longest as “all-white units.” Numbers range from an additional couple hundred to couple thousand people serving as individuals, in and or attached to white units. Also outside of the bureau, all federal or union soldiers were supported by several thousands of “Contrabands,” whom were typically self-emancipated/ “runaways” and federally acquired slaves (or seized illegal-property or contraband of mainly confederate sympathizers & but union sympathizing slaveowners as well), that followed all federal or union troops, as refugees civilian-laborers, commonly functioning as scouts, logisticians, cooks & cleaners, skilled craftsmen, transporters and civil engineers during war. Through the participation of colored people, they not only helped save union from itself and outside influences like the United Kingdom (whom was sending weapons and supplies to the Confederacy), but they also earned the reward of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment, which not only provided freedoms to all USCT soldiers and their families, but also extended to all people of the United States, not just to African Americans: 13th amendment: Abolishment of Legal Slavery, with exception to Incarceration. (Legal slavery still exists inside jail and prisons system, especially for profit institutions). 14th Amendment: Establishment of Rules, Rights & Privileges of Citizenship and Equal Protection Under Law. (Inspired and gave foundation to Civil Rights Laws of 1950s through today). 15th Amendment: Universal Male Suffrage. (Which inspired 19th Amendment later giving rights to women to vote). The involvement of the USCT also open doors to African Americans, and other people of color, to full time federal and state government and military roles, such as congressional roles, senatorial roles, governorships, governmental & military contractors, and the regular and reserve status military (Example: The Buffalo Soldiers 1866-1952, the US Army Regulars of the 9th & 10th US Cavalry Regiments and the 38th, 39th, 40th & 41st US Colored Infantry Regiments, which later became 24th & 25th Infantry Regiments). I will also mention that many USCT veterans enlisted and commissioned into the Buffalo Soldier units; and, for those that discharged from service, many became community leaders and civil rights activists, fighting to maintain and build upon positive legacy of the American Civil War and Reconstruction Eras. Women played a role in support of USCT units. They were mostly in a sort of skilled laborers, medical and logistical roles . However some served as spies, scouts, recruiters and some even snuck into the ranks of soldiers, dressed as men. Examples include: Harriet Tubman, Maria Lewis, Mary Shadd Cary, Susie King Taylor, Mary Bowser, Cathay Williams, others. Women were part of the backbone of the USCT and overall US armed forces during American Civil War. These are my some of my favorite heroes and heroines to study at the African American Civil War Museum. One of the best museums in town. Come see us and let’s talk about it. You won’t regret it. (And, yes Black Lives Do Matter). Note: We are recruiting men and women, young and old, Black, White, others to tell the stories of the USCT and all other Black militaria history. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730564063831728/?ref=share
1st USCT (American Civil War) with Anthropologist Johnny Coleman, observing U.N.’s International Day Of Remembering Enslavement & Emancipation, at Camp Barker Contraband Camp, at intersections of Vermont Ave NW & R St NW and S ST NW & 13 ST NW, Washington, DC. August 23rd is the U.N.’s International Day for Remembering Enslavement and Emancipation Movements... They Freed Themselves!!! Featuring CPL Marquett Milton, The Soldier of U Street aka L.I.O.N. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730564063831728/?ref=share Back when America was “Great,” during a time of enslavement, slave catching, lynching, political exclusion, unfair sharecropping practices, segregation and other forms of racial & class oppression.... Between 1861- 1866, there were over 209,145 people that helped make up nearly 170 regiments of an element of US armed forces called, the Bureau of the United States Colored Troops (or USCT): *6 Cavalry Regiments *13 Heavy Artillery Regiments *10 Light Artillery Regiments * 137 Infantry Regiments * American Civil War regiments sizes ranged from 300 to 1000 men in each unit. * There were some unaccounted / unattached units, such as engineer detachments, some small Black & culturally diverse militias, etc. * Individual sailors that made up 25% of US Navy They were 10% of US Army and 25% of the US Navy during the American Civil War & Reconstruction Era. Through fighting first for their self interest of emancipation, equality, education, equity, enfranchisement/suffrage, safety and self rule of their own communities, they also ended up turning tide of war in favor of the unionists, in most fatigued hour. They also changed narrative to be about actual freedom instead of money, power, influence, territory and inconveniences. They were the symbols of true freedom, just like all colored US servicemen between 1775 to 1863, because through their own involvement and own efforts, they freed themselves! (They did not just wait on support from President Lincoln, they took self-initiative to play a part in their own story and make change in their lives). Over 7,122 commissioned officers led the enlisted body of the USCT, a body which was nearly 200,000 people of color, mostly of African Descent; but, it also included, but not limited to, anyone of color, ranging from Latino-Americans/Hispanics to Native-American to South Asians and Pacific Islanders, anyone dark skinned. Many of which were Afro-mixed people. Several were devout Christians (especially Methodists & Baptists), but it also included Muslims and Jews, a very diverse crowd of different ethnicities and religions. Most commissioned officers were White-Americans; however, about 125 commissioned officers were of African Descent. Not all colored participants served within the Bureau. Some regional, state, county, and municipal units were independent from the Bureau, and there were also several people of African descent and other people of color that joined as individuals, in what we have perceived for the longest as “all-white units.” Numbers range from an additional couple hundred to couple thousand people serving as individuals, in and or attached to white units. Also outside of the bureau, all federal or union soldiers were supported by several thousands of “Contrabands,” whom were typically self-emancipated/ “runaways” and federally acquired slaves (or seized illegal-property or contraband of mainly confederate sympathizers & but union sympathizing slaveowners as well), that followed all federal or union troops, as refugees civilian-laborers, commonly functioning as scouts, logisticians, cooks & cleaners, skilled craftsmen, transporters and civil engineers during war. Through the participation of colored people, they not only helped save union from itself and outside influences like the United Kingdom (whom was sending weapons and supplies to the Confederacy), but they also earned the reward of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment, which not only provided freedoms to all USCT soldiers and their families, but also extended to all people of the United States, not just to African Americans: 13th amendment: Abolishment of Legal Slavery, with exception to Incarceration. (Legal slavery still exists inside jail and prisons system, especially for profit institutions). 14th Amendment: Establishment of Rules, Rights & Privileges of Citizenship and Equal Protection Under Law. (Inspired and gave foundation to Civil Rights Laws of 1950s through today). 15th Amendment: Universal Male Suffrage. (Which inspired 19th Amendment later giving rights to women to vote). The involvement of the USCT also open doors to African Americans, and other people of color, to full time federal and state government and military roles, such as congressional roles, senatorial roles, governorships, governmental & military contractors, and the regular and reserve status military (Example: The Buffalo Soldiers 1866-1952, the US Army Regulars of the 9th & 10th US Cavalry Regiments and the 38th, 39th, 40th & 41st US Colored Infantry Regiments, which later became 24th & 25th Infantry Regiments). I will also mention that many USCT veterans enlisted and commissioned into the Buffalo Soldier units; and, for those that discharged from service, many became community leaders and civil rights activists, fighting to maintain and build upon positive legacy of the American Civil War and Reconstruction Eras. Women played a role in support of USCT units. They were mostly in a sort of skilled laborers, medical and logistical roles . However some served as spies, scouts, recruiters and some even snuck into the ranks of soldiers, dressed as men. Examples include: Harriet Tubman, Maria Lewis, Mary Shadd Cary, Susie King Taylor, Mary Bowser, Cathay Williams, others. Women were part of the backbone of the USCT and overall US armed forces during American Civil War. These are my some of my favorite heroes and heroines to study at the African American Civil War Museum. One of the best museums in town. Come see us and let’s talk about it. You won’t regret it. (And, yes Black Lives Do Matter). Note: We are recruiting men and women, young and old, Black, White, others to tell the stories of the USCT and all other Black militaria history. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1730564063831728/?ref=share