December 8 (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.) Kelly D. Selby, a Walsh University assistant professor of history (and formerly an Oberlin Heritage Center graduate student intern), will present Oberlin's Sable Arm: Black Ohioans and the Civil War at Kendal at Oberlin. In May 1863, the U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Colored Troops to coordinate the enlistment and service of African Americans in the Union Army. Free black men from Ohio enthusiastically volunteered, and by the end of the war the state sent over 5,000 soldiers to the United States Colored Troops. These men served for a variety of reasons, and experienced many different consequences as a result of their contributions. This free program will explore how Oberlin-area African Americans participated in the war and the effect that their service had on their lives when they returned to Ohio.
Selby obtained her Ph.D. in nineteenth-century United States history from Kent State University in 2008. Her dissertation was on "The 27th United States Colored Troops: Ohio Soldiers and Veterans."