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ECC Celebrates Black History Month

The United States Colored Troops 35th Regiment Reenactment Group presented the Black History Month program at Edgecombe Community College recently. From left are Craig Allen; Curtis Jenkins; James Williams; Vernon Guion; David Theroith; Sharon C. Bryant; Donald Harmon; Courtney Baggett, ECC student activities coordinator; Robert Garrison; William Hollowell; Marshall Williams; and Michael Jordan. Reenactor Bernard George is not pictured.

The Edgecombe Community College community and area residents were inspired by the compelling stories of African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War during the college’s annual Black History Month celebration held February 9.

The United States Colored Troops 35th Regiment Reenactment Group performed an interpretive program based on the experiences of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT).

With a mission to promote a better understanding of the role of African Americans in the fight for their freedom, the 35th USCT reenactment group gathers and interprets the stories of soldiers who served in the original regiment, some told by their descendants.

Among the soldiers portrayed were Assistant Surgeon Major John DeGrasse, the first black man admitted to a state medical society and the only African American doctor to serve in a Civil War regiment, and Chaplain John Mars, appointed to meet the spiritual needs of white officers and black enlisted men.

Michael Jordan, retired vice president of student services at ECC, was among the reenactors and served as the narrator. “Every African American soldier has a unique and fascinating story,” he said. “I am honored to play a role in telling these stories and to be a part of this important organization.”

The 35th USCT reenactment group has traveled throughout North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, as well as by invitation to the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, DC. The group is an initiative of the Tryon Palace Foundation.

ECC’s Black History Month event was cosponsored by the Student Government Association and Providing African American Males the Edge to Succeed (PAAMES).

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