African American History Month Salute…. Captain Robert Smalls – The First African...

African American History Month Salute…. Captain Robert Smalls – The First African American Civil War Hero

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Submitted by Imam Lyndon Bilal

In observance of African American / Black History Month, which in actuality should be commemorated and celebrated 365 days a year, this week’s MAVA Speaks article explores the intriguingly fascinating life story of Captain Robert Smalls (1839 – 1915).

Robert Smalls was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1839, a slave of John Mckee, and he lived to serve as a Union naval officer; a major general in the South Carolina militia during the reconstruction era, and a congressman of the United States.

Following the Confederate attack on Union held Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on a the early morning of April 12, 1861, Smalls was a pilot on a Confederate steamer, The Planter, used to transport guns and ammunition for the Confederate cause.

On the evening of May 12, 1862, while docked in the port of Charleston, the white Confederate officers of The Planter went ashore to attend a party, leaving the black crew alone to tend to chores... Read Feb. 24, 2017's Issue Here.

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