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were heading home, back to Jim Crow, U.S.A. There had been only equality in the Brigade; it would be impossible to accept second-class citizenship upon returning; and accept it they didn't. James Yates recalls his return: [Voice:]"One hour after I was off the boat I went to a hotel...the Grand on 30th Street and Broadway...When it came to me, I was told, 'Sorry, all rooms are sold out, we don't have anymore available.' Now there were Black and white vets on line behind me. The protest began. At its end, I was told by the management they'd find me 'someplace' to sleep...on the floor, I thought. We all left. I knew I was back." [Narr:] Thomas Page remembered his return, too: [Voice:] "Spain was the first place I felt like a free man. Leaving Spain was one of the saddest days of my life. Just the thought of going back to jim Crow, America made me sick! Like me, you realized that after Spain our struggle was at home, just as it was before we sailed for Europe." [Narr:] Right wing reaction was already growing when the Lincolns disembarked upon returning from Spain. All their passports were confiscated by the government. The Brigade was placed on the Un-American Activities "Blacklist". Crawford Morgan, Joe Taylor and other Afro-American Lincolns joined the fightback, finally getting the government to drop all the illegal charges against them. Soon World War II opened, but not before many bitter memories of yet other betrayals and denials of their legitimate claims to first class citizenship would be added to the nation's ignominy. Armed Forces integration experienced in the Lincolns was scuttled. Still, many Afro-Americans enlisted to continue the unfinished war. Vaughn Love was one: [Voice:] "I volunteered to fight for Loyalist Spain because there was a principle involved. But now in this great world war-- it's also a question of life or death." [Narr:] Wounded three times in Spain, he trained many fine combatants for World War II. Garland, Taylor, Crawford Morgan and Page also enlisted to continue the unfinished war. History has turned many pages since then. And today, many Afro-American Lincoln Vets can say they witnessed fascism's defeat in Spain, with a nominal democracy returning to its people. They know Spain has not forgotten them. As Langston Hughes so eloquently wrote in "Tomorrow's Seed": [[left column]] [Voice:] "Proud banners of death I see them waving There against the sky, Struck deep in Spanish earth [[end left column]] [[right column]] Frank Alexander William Baker Vernold Beebe Milton Braxton, Tom Brown 56 [[end page]] [[start page]] [[left column]] Where your dark bodies lie Inert and helpless-- So they think Who do not know, That from your death New life will grow. For there are those who cannot see The mighty roots of liberty Push upward in the dark To burst in flame-- A million stars-- And one your name: Man Who fell in Spanish earth: Human seed For Freedom's birth." [[end left column]] [[right column]] Walter Callum Council Carter Mike Chowan Roland Cleveland Mack Coad Walter Cobbs Tomas Callado, Leroy Collins Walter Dicks, Larry Dukes Walter Garland, Eugene Gavin Henry George Theodore Gibbs Gerald Goldwyn Meredith Graham Centurio Gutierrez, George Harvey Milton Herndon John Hunter Salaria Kee Admiral Kilpatrick Oliver Law Charles Lewis Norman Lisberg Alonzo Watson [[end right column]] [Narr:] No, Spain has not forgotten her dark sons and daughters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. [[left column]] And neither must we! Neither must we! Neither must we! Neither must we! [[end left column]] [[right column]] Luchell "El Fantastico" McDaniels Andrew Mitchell William Moore Burt Jackson Edward Johnson Richard Johnson Crawford Morgan James Peck Claude Pringle Alpheus Prowell Marcus Ranson Otto Reeves Virgil Rhetta James Robinson Julius Rodrigues Oliver Rose Gonrado Rosario CREDITS: Ruth Singer, Visuals Producer; Lucho Hamilton, Narrator; Antar Sudan Katara Mberi, Scriptwriter and Director; V.A.L.B., Producers 57
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