This week, I’m talking about volunteer militia formed by Black men in Atlanta from the 1870s thru 1903. These men, just years out of the slavery system and most of them Radical Republicans, pushed for the militia for two reasons - military service was the epitome of masculine, model citizen Victorian manhood and also for protection. The end of Reconstruction left African Americans in the South unprotected. There were five militias in Atlanta, led by prominent businessmen and community leaders and I share some fun stories of parades, encampments and mock battles. 

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