"Let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth or under the earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship" - Frederick Douglass, April 6, 1863.
Following the Emancipation Proclamation, the U.S. military formed the United States Colored Troops. Even as black soldiers fought and died, their citizenship status remained uncertain. Racist policies limited opportunities for black soldiers to become line officers and paid them lower wages than whites. Mr. Maurice Imhoff will cover the story of the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, otherwise known as the 102nd United States Colored Troops; discussing its early authorization to present time remembrance.
Maurice Imhoff is a Michigan historian with a focus on Michigan's African American Civil War Regiment, the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry. In 2020, he co-founded the Jackson County Michigan Historical Society and interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.