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Captain Robert Gould Shaw became the commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, during the Civil War. Shaw was a white man from a wealthy home in Boston who readily accepted the command of the first African American regiment in U.S. military history. He quickly discovered that there were no sincere efforts to give these soldiers weapons, proper equipment or to engage them in war. This true story was captured in the movie Glory that won two Oscars and starred Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick. The story was built around the letters that Captain Shaw sent home to his parents during the war.

Finally, after some serious training and intervention, Captain Shaw led the infantry into battle for the very first time. Days after their initial confrontation, they led a Union assault on Fort Wagner, in Charleston, S.C. Knowing full well that the casualty count could be high, they still volunteered to lead the battalions. Over half of the men lost their lives that day and the fort was never taken, but the news of their bravery spread to Washington. A call from Congress to open wide the doors of the military to men of color changed the tide of the war (according to a quote by Abraham Lincoln). In fact, over 180,000 men of color volunteered after this defining moment.

Contend for a life well spent and a cause well intentioned. May God grant your life and influence to be a catalyst for change and a profound influence for the kingdom!

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By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.
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