Dr. Frank Smith to speak at Andersonville National Historic Site for African American History Month
Contact: Eric Leonard, 229 924-0343 ext.110
Andersonville National Historic Site is proud to host a presentation by Dr. Frank Smith, Jr. at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2011 in the National Prisoner of War Museum auditorium.
Dr. Frank Smith, Jr. is the Founder and Director of the African American Civil War Museum, located in Washington, DC. However, his family background and his early childhood begin in Coweta County, Georgia, consisting of a rich blend of social customs and the tradition of mutual aid within a close-knit community of African American tenant farmers. Dr. Smith will briefly share some of his most precious memories about early rural family life, holidays, attending church, and his early school years. In addition, he will explain his aspirations to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta despite his family’s financial difficulties. He will cover his undergraduate years at Morehouse, how he became involved with the Civil Rights Movement, and his decision to leave college and move to Washington, DC where he served as City Councilor for more than 15 years and worked at the Institute of Policy Studies. As the nation begins this year to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, Dr. Smith will discuss the involvement of Black soldiers in this great conflict, explaining how their impact led to the Union victory. He will then speak about the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. and explain his motivation and involvement in the memorial and the accompanying museum.
Please join us to hear Dr. Smith and honor this year’s African American History month theme of African Americans in the Civil War.
Andersonville National Historic Site is located ten miles south of Montezuma, Georgia, and ten miles north of Americus, Georgia on Highway 49. Park grounds, including Andersonville National Cemetery, open at 8:00 a.m. and the National Prisoner of War Museum opens at 8:30 a.m. The park, cemetery, and museum close at 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 229 924-0343 or visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande
Did You Know?
A small number of Andersonville prisoners were able to grow crops such as beans and corn. Prisoner diaries and sketches mention this fact and a photograph taken in the summer of 1864 shows corn stalks growing near a shelter. Such an undertaking would require constant guard and demonstrates that prisoners knew they might be captives at Andersonville for quite some time.