Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917

Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917

Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917

Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917

Synopsis

The People vs. O. J. Simpson ranks indisputably as the trial of the century. It featured a double murder, a celebrity defendant, a perjuring witness, and a glove that didn't fit. The trial became a media circus of outrageous proportions that led the judge to sequester the jury, eject disruptive reporters, and fine the lawyers thousands of dollars. Now an insider at The People vs. O. J. Simpson reveals the untold story of the most widely followed trial in American history and the indelible impact it has had on the judiciary, the media, and the public.

As the Los Angeles Superior Court's media liaison, Jerrianne Hayslett had unprecedented access to the trial--and met with Judge Lance Ito daily--as she attempted, sometimes unsuccessfully, to mediate between the court and members of the media and to balance their interests. In Anatomy of a Trial, she takes readers behind the scenes to shed new light on people and proceedings and to show how the media and the trial participants changed the court-media landscape to the detriment of the public's understanding of the judicial system.

For those who think they've already read all there is to know about the Simpson trial, this book is an eye-opener. Hayslett kept a detailed journal during the proceedings in which she recorded anecdotes and commentary. She also shares previously undisclosed information to expose some of the myths and stereotypes perpetuated by the trial, while affirming other stories that emerged during that time. By examining this trial after more than a decade, she shows how it has produced a bunker mentality in the judicial system, shaping media and public access to courts with lasting impact on such factors as cameras in the courtroom, jury selection, admonishments from the bench, and fair-trial/free-press tensions.

The first account of the trial written with Judge Ito's cooperation, Anatomy of a Trial is a page-turning narrative and features photographs that capture both the drama of the courtroom and the excesses of the media. It also includes perspectives of legal and journalism authorities and offers a blueprint for how the courts and media can better meet their responsibilities to the public.

Even today, judges, lawyers, and journalists across the country say the Simpson trial changed everything. This book finally tells us why.

Excerpt

Bruce A. Glasrud

during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, black Americans sought to serve their country despite opposition from whites in both the military and the civilian population. They served as soldiers and sailors during wartime, and in times of peace, in a few segregated militia units. The Civil War precipitated a change in their status. After the war, even though peace prevailed, blacks served in the regular army as well as in state militias. During the war, nearly 180,000 African Americans served in units of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT). All the northern and most southern states were represented. Among the early units were the First Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment and the First South Carolina Volunteer Regiment, both formed by white union officers. In Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Kansas, African Americans formed segregated units within state militias organized to protect the local population amid threats of violence. For a time, free blacks in Ohio were pressed into state service in order to protect Cincinnati from a Confederate attack from Kentucky. Even in the South black troops were employed; the Louisiana Native Guards served in both the Confederacy and in the Union armies.

The Civil War transformed the lives of black Americans beyond the elimination of slavery. It led to new amendments to the United States Constitution— the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, which brought freedom and civil rights and promised to eliminate race as a voting restriction, and it also created opportunities for African Americans in military service. Between 1865 and 1917, national, state, and local military forces offered blacks significant career choices and positions of respect for militia and for volunteers.

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