On This Day In 1863 . . .



…in 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first black regiment from the North, paraded in full dress uniform on Boston Common. Crowds cheered as 1,007 black soldiers and 37 white officers passed in review. After ceremonies at the State House, they marched to Battery Wharf and boarded steamships for South Carolina. Just seven weeks later, 74 men and their commanding officer, Robert Gould Shaw, were killed in an heroic assault on Fort Wagner. On Memorial Day 1897, 60 veterans of the 54th were among hundreds of people who gathered on the Common for the unveiling of Augustus Saint-Gaundens’ Memorial to Robert Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. This statue remains one of the great works of public art in the country.On This Day...


From the very beginning of the Civil War, African American men sought to enlist in the Union Army. Their requests were denied. This was a “white…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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