I remember reading many years ago W. E. B. Du Bois’s complaint that Americans knew far too little of the decisive role blacks played in winning their freedom. He pointed specifically to a biography of Ulysses S. Grant in which the author, W. E. Woodward, wrote of African Americans as “the only people in the history of the world . . . that ever became free without any effort of their own. . . . They twanged banjos around the railroad stations, sang melodious spirituals, and believed that some Yankee would soon come along and give each of them forty acres of land and a mule.” I was in graduate school at the time and congratulated myself on knowing better – that blacks had served in the Union army. But that was about all I knew of it. As the proud holder of a college degree in history, I thought that was just about all I needed to know. There are none so ignorant as the educated ignorant. - See more at: http://hnn.us/article/156587#sthash.U0KAU5Jv.dpuf
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