Did You Know Memorial Day Was Started by Ex-Slaves?

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One of the things that most black people know is that the public school system does a horrible  job teaching black history. They will gladly tell you all the wonderful things that white people did and maybe even go back to Europe, but the contributions of African Americans are kept entirely on the backburner.

A fact that you should probably know is that African Americans are the reason that Memorial Day even exists in the first place.  According to Professor David Blight of Yale University, the event began on May 1, 1865.  A group of former slaves in Charleston, SC gave a proper burial to 257 Union soldiers who’d been put into a mass grave.

The black community of Charleston then consecrated the new cemetary with “an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people.”  The event was initially called “Decoration Day” and was led by 3,000 black school children who started off by singing the song “John Brown’s Body.”  They were then followed by hundreds of black women with baskets of flowers and crosses.  After that, black men marched behind them in cadence, followed by Union infantry.

READ MORE via Did You Know Memorial Day Was Started by Ex-Slaves? | Black Blue Dog.


  1. William E. Poole

    May 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Just when I thought I had learned enough, I’ve just learned some more. Just goes to show that no one is too old to learn – period.

  2. J. Jones

    May 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    WOW !!!!

  3. nelle

    May 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    History teaches that General John Logan declared Decoration Day which later became Memorial Day. His citation is on Wikipedia.

  4. Jackie M Morrison

    May 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    The Good Deeds that One does will always rise to the top, just like cream rise to the top, we too shall continue to rise. The truth shall shine as a bright as the sun…storms may roll, but we as a People shall weather them through out the ages…..GOD Bless.

  5. Omerede Kashka

    May 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    This is one of the main reasons that we cannot allow the education of our children to be left up to others. One of the greatest assets that can be obtained by Blacks is an organized educational system controlled by Blacks that presents the real and unbiased truths to our kids and adults as well. As a group, we have the financial resources and the intelligence to accomplish this. What is missing now is leadership, motivation and the unselfish desire for Blacks to move forward.

  6. robin taylor

    May 26, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Interesting, I had no idea of this fact. I have always said that I am a life-long-learner! I have to say, the older I get, the more I learn about the world, and about my Black History, the prouder I am of being a Black American. Oh how I wish this was taught in every class room in this country! Just think about how proud Black children would feel to know about their enormous contributions to this country and the world!

  7. janice

    May 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    If you would like to see a short 8 minute special on “Decoration Day” filmed in Charleston, South Carolina and starring children and Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Singleton Prather)…click here…


  8. janice

    May 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    If you’d like to see a short clip (8 minutes) of children and Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Singleton Prather) from Charleston, SC talk about decoration day, click here.


  9. Pepi

    May 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Revelation 1:15 His hair like white wool. His feet were like bronze.

    Who is this a description of?

    Thanks for sharing truth.

  10. Tom Metzger

    May 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Of course it was started by Craig Cobb’s family. I thought everyone knew that.

  11. ericaf

    May 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks for information I can pass on.

  12. j lewis

    May 26, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Since our true history is not taught in school, why are you not teaching it at home? You are the parent! Sit the child down and spend 15 minutes every other day without fail teaching our history and having a conversation about how the day went,what was positive, funny, how they can do better, what are the consequences of not doing better!

    I believe the problem is us, the adults, we don’t supervise, who the kids hang with, the music they listen too, why having a baby at 17 will ensure you will suffer many hardships.

    I can go on and on, however, all who didn’t know this historical fact should have! If your child does not know its your fault!

  13. Joe

    May 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Folks should not be surprised that Southern Blacks would show gratitude and respect for the noble-dead by giving them a descent burial because such values are at the core of communitarian ethics that grand-parents and parents pass on from one generation to the next. They are so important that anyone who failues to show due gratitude and respect for those who deserve it such as heroes- who fought for one’s liberation from slavery- would be condemn,ed in moral terms as being mere human beings (externally) but not persons in Akan/Ghana{.e “Nipa nwoma na edura neho kwa, onnye nipa!}

    Therefore, the burden of proof should lie with any one who doubts that Black Americans did such a thing for their heroes.Any anthropologist worthy of the name such as R.S. Rattray who immersed himself into the Asante/Akan culture for decades would rather be surprised if the Blacks did not do such a thing, given their moral education and tradition.

  14. Audie

    May 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    We must share our knowledge of our own history

  15. Mariba Luba

    May 27, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I learned other facts recently that I had not learned in more than 18 years of schooling:
    Ancient Africans discovered iron and made many things from including chariots. They invented many games including jacks which they played with cowrie shells and stones and also hopscotch.
    They also invented string instruments
    also they were the first to write and read!

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