This excerpt comes from the Seizing Freedom episode titled "A Powerful Black Hand." From the start of the Civil War, Black Americans were eager to lend their resources to the Union cause, but the Union was slow on the uptake. Despite their other differences, the North and South remained united in their belief in white supremacy. But when the Union found itself on the back foot, Northerners changed their tune, letting Black men and women join the ranks.That decision shifted the tide of the war, with more than 70% of northern Black men of military age enlisting to fight against the Confederacy. But many whites feared that granting equal access to American freedom might result in retaliation for all the wrongs of slavery.
Seizing Freedom is a production of VPM and Witness Docs from Stitcher. It's hosted by Dr. Kidada E. Williams, and produced by Joshua Moore, Ronald Young, Jr., Lushik Wahba, Kelly Jones and Gavin Wright. Sound Design by Jakob Lewis of Great Feeling Studios. Music by Dan Burns. For more information about this series, visit seizingfreedom.com.