Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • / Comments Off on BSSE Salutes an American Hero

BSSE Salutes an American Hero

Sergeant Monica Lin Brown

Sergeant Monica Lin Brown

BSSE salutes: Sergeant Monica Lin Brown

Then-Spc Monica Brown, recognized for her gallant actions during combat in Afghanistan in 2007, is the second female soldier since World War II to receive a Silver Star, the third highest award given for valor in enemy action.  Read her heroic story.

  • / Comments Off on Got Heroes?

Got Heroes?

Got heroes?

Speaking of heroes, here are a few from different centuries you will

Isaac Rice

Isaac Rice

recognize: Kunta Kinte, Luke Skywalker, Jackie Robinson, W.P. Inman, Edmond Dantès, and Moses.  To this arduous list, a new epic hero, Isaac Rice, was added in the 21st century novel, First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story.

Disparate peoples and cultures have their stories and heroes.  The late mythologist Joseph J. Campbell theorized that important myths from around the world, which have survived thousands of years, all share a fundamental structure.  Campbell called it the monomyth.  In the introduction to his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell summarized the monomyth:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

In “the city that reads,” where Ravens are heroes and the rage, a Baltimore Post-Examiner headline declared: “Gripping Saga of Isaac Rice, a Runaway Slave, is a Hero’s Journey.”  Does Isaac’s Buffalo Soldier epic meet the Campbell test?  What does Isaac’s venture, over several years, have in common with Kunta Kinte (Roots), W.P. Inman (Cold Mountain), or Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)?

A number of times, George Lucas has discussed publicly that Campbell’s theories directly influenced Lucas’ creation of Star Wars.  Isaac Rice’s journey through time and distance begins with a difficult and harrowing escape from a South Carolina rice plantation in the middle of a war over a waterborne route.  Campbell would say he departed his “world of common day.”   To enter the “region of supernatural wonder,” Isaac survives enemies: snakes, fog, storms, hunger, riflemen, and alligators.  Declared too young to be a soldier, undaunted, Isaac shovels coal on army and navy gunboats.  A Gulf of Mexico hurricane sinks Isaac’s ship and he lands in Mississippi.  “Meets Isaac his Yoda” when he rescues a post-war soldier from a bandit.  His new mentor helps Isaac realize his dream of becoming a soldier in the original deployment of the Tenth Regiment of United States Cavalry.

According to the Baltimore Post-Examiner, First Dark passes the Campbell/Lucas tests as Isaac’s personal family losses, learning to read, public_htmling into a successful Buffalo Soldier, compassion for Apaches, and forming his dream for entrepreneurship all unfold.  Further, readers meet the women who love Isaac, his friends, mentors, and enemies, all of whom are given voice.  Isaac’s heroes inform about the man he becomes:  Hiram Young (former slave, entrepreneur who built freight wagons for the Union army) and Ben Montgomery (former slave, entrepreneur who managed Joe Davis’ plantation and store).

The Post-Examiner concludes: “Isaac’s journey, with a nod to the splendid mythologist Joseph Campbell, is a hero’s journey. It’s also a darn good read.”

Learn more…

  • / Comments Off on Lieutenant Flipper Controversy: A Fallen Hero?

Lieutenant Flipper Controversy: A Fallen Hero?

Lieutenant Flipper Controversy: A Fallen Hero?

Lt Henry O. Flipper

Lt Henry O. Flipper

Who was Lieutenant Flipper?  Was he Martyr or Myth?

  • 19th Century:  Lt Flipper was dismissed from the U.S. Army.
  • 20th Century:  Flipper was pardoned by President Clinton.
  • 21st Century:  Flipper’s “poor treatment” is called a myth.

Henry O. Flipper was not the first African American admitted to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.  However, in 1877, Flipper became the first African American to graduate from West Point.  Flipper was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to the Tenth Regiment of United States Cavalry at Fort Sill, Indian Territory.

In 1880, Lieutenant Flipper again distinguished himself in the war against Warm Springs Apache Chief Victorio.  A year later, twenty-five year old Flipper was tried for embezzlement of government funds.  He was dismissed from the army 30 June 1882.

A new one-act play, “Lieutenant Flipper’s Trial” by Bob Rogers, dramatizes the fateful 1881 trial of Lieutenant Flipper.  Was Flipper persecuted before he was prosecuted?  Did Flipper destroy his career?  Was he sabotaged?  Was there a conspiracy?  Was he dealt with fairly?  You decide.

On the reverse side of this flyer, see the bibliography and learn how to:

  • Book the play and added attractions for your stage, including:
    • Bob Rogers’ live and lively 19th Century American History “Jeopardy” style quiz show where winners receive literary prizes (novels, novellas, short stories).
    • Scenes (South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico) from Bob’s highly acclaimed novel, First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story.

Book the play for your group or venue!

  • / Comments Off on VA Celebrates Women’s History Month

VA Celebrates Women’s History Month

VA Celebrates Women’s History Month

March 18, 2013

March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month, the Department of Veterans Affairs salutes women Veterans for doing their part to secure the liberties of this great nation. Women have always voluntarily served — in peacetime and in times of conflict — and persistently proven their dedication and strength in the military roles they assume. Today, women are represented throughout the military and consistently prove they are capable of fulfilling complicated, dangerous tasks. They fly combat sorties, serve on submarines, fight on the front lines, and perform various duties to ensure military readiness. During Women’s History Month, please thank the women Veterans around you for their contributions to history. Save the date for a special Salute to Women Veterans by VA on March 21.

For more on military history, visit the History Center.

  • / Comments Off on Scenes from a Buffalo Soldier Epic

Scenes from a Buffalo Soldier Epic

Faces and Scenes from First Dark

Faces and Scenes from First Dark
(c) 2012 Bob Rogers

Witness an American panorama.  See and hear scenes from South Carolina, Mississippi, Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico from Bob Rogers’ highly acclaimed novel, First Dark: A Buffalo Soldier’s Story.  Scene locations were meticulously explored on foot or horseback to ensure authenticity in the writing of First Dark.  Engage in questions and answers about how America’s southwest was settled.  Book it for your group or venue!