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Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213 x139
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, in partnership with the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, invites the public to participate in a free, one hour program at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 East Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403, on Saturday, February 27 at 2 pm.This program will explore Union Lieutenant Albion Tourgée's radical conversion on civil rights issues once the guns of war fell silent.
During the Civil War, soldiers often experienced debilitating wounds beyond description, but not all wounds were physical. Albion Tourgée's interaction with slavery produced mental wounds that convinced him the war was intended for a higher purpose. "Justice is pictured blind and her daughter, the Law, ought at least to be color-blind." This quote, from one of his post-war law briefs, paints a picture of the moral crusade on which he journeyed. Without his traumatic wartime experiences, might Tourgée have not clothed himself in the mantle of civil rights at all?
Additionally, there will be free admission to the Chattanooga African American Museum's "Gateway to Freedom" exhibit located in the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.