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New MenReconstructing the Image of the Veteran in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture$
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John Casey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265398

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265398.001.0001

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Racial Uplift and the Figure of the Black Soldier

Racial Uplift and the Figure of the Black Soldier

Chapter:
(p.130) 5 Racial Uplift and the Figure of the Black Soldier
Source:
New Men
Author(s):

John A Casey

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823265398.003.0005

In contrast to white soldiers, who were largely able to take the concepts of manhood and citizenship for granted, soldiers in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) struggled to prove to society not only that they were men but also that they were worthy of the rights of citizenship. During the early postwar years, veterans of the USCT used their war service to great rhetorical advantage to access economic and political power. With the end of southern Reconstruction, this power gradually eroded; even as white veteran became more vocal about their service in the war, black voices had begun to fade. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, USCT veterans had lost enough of their social prestige that even black civilians such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper sought for new non-martial role models to aid in the cause of racial uplift.

Keywords:   Veterans, USCT, Citizenship, Reconstruction, Racial Uplift, Manhood, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

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