As we celebrate Memorial Day to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives, the history of Memorial Day which was FIRST started by freed men and women, has been withheld and erased.
After the Civil War in 1865, formerly enslaved men and women started a tradition to honor the fallen Union soldiers, which was called Decoration Day in Charleston, SC.
257 African American soldiers serving in the Union army during the Civil War were buried at Hampton Park. It was estimated that 10,000 gathered at Hampton Park to lay flowers on the graves of unknown soldiers.
(Photo Credit: City of Charleston, SC Government)
While in Dallas, I passed by the Freedman's Cemetery, which was one of the largest cemeteries in the country. It was established as a burial ground for Dallas’ early African American population in 1861. The site represents the remnants of the once-thriving North Dallas community which from the Civil War to the 1970s was the largest segregated African American enclave in Dallas and one of the largest in the United States.
I saw a gentleman, who was placing flags for Memorial Day at the cemetery. His name is Prof. Clarence E. Glover, Jr. aka Prof. Freedom. He is a public scholar, minister, activist, and statesman committed to Dr. King's philosophy of Non-Violent Social Change. He is the president of Sankofa Education Services, a professional and lecturing agency specializing in African American history, culture, and multicultural education. Prof. Freedom is a storyteller passing down the true history of blacks that has contributed to the city of Dallas, TX to the next generation.
Meeting Prof. Freedom was amazing and he provided me with a lot of insight and the history of blacks in Dallas, TX, and the history of Memorial Day. Below are powerful videos of Prof. Freedom honoring the fallen soldiers at the Freedman's Cemetery.
Oh, freedom, Oh, freedom
Oh freedom over me
And before I'd be a slave
I'd be buried in my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free
Glory, Glory, Halleluyah
Glory, glory, halleluyah!
Since I laid my burdens down.
Glory, glory, halleluyah!
Since I laid my burdens down!
Gaspar Yanga, West African Prince.
Prof. Freedom placed an American flag, flowers, and Texas cotton on the statue entitled "Dream of Freedom" and pour libation in memory of the ancestors. Ashe'
To learn more about Prof. Freedom, go to sankofaeducationservices.com. "Taking the chains off your brain, so your mind can work." - Prof. Freedom
Honor and remember those that paid the ultimate sacrifice and don't forget the REAL origin of the forgotten history of Memorial Day.