Violence was actually the principal means used to disenfranchise African Americans and to keep them from voting or running for elected office. The Ku Klux Klan (founded in Kentucky in 1866) was formed with the purpose of terrorizing African Americans who acquired economic and/or political power, particularly focusing on Blacks who tried to vote. But “citizens councils” and other groups used violence to disenfranchise African Americans.
These stories about African Americans in the military--their courage to face obstacles like racism, their determination to fight for their country and their freedom, their courage under fire whether it came from Nazis in 1944, from the Vietcong in 1969 or from other Americans, their honor in saving lives in their country and around the world—and inspire anyone to transcend any hardships and obstacles in one's one's own life.
- The Mammoth Caves are important for another reason. The stories of the African Americans (both enslaved and free) who came to live and work at the Mammoth Caves showed the society and times in which they lived. It showed the difficulties, the struggles, and the discrimination. But it also showed the triumphs, the courage and the great skills of both the enslaved and free people at the Caves. You’ll get more details about this, and get the heartwarming and frustrating stories at the Mammoth caves throughout this podcast. The caves really were a microcosm of the society and racial conditions at the time.
Sheppard learned to speak the Kuba* language, which helped him to discover parts of the Congo region where no American or European had ever gone. Sheppard and his local Bakuba guide would go from village to village buying eggs at different markets. For three months, he bought and ate eggs and preached the gospel at every village where he stopped. Sheppard stayed and studied the culture and, because of his excellent language skills, he was welcomed into the villages by the local leaders.