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tv   Sino News Magazine  PBS  February 27, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm PST

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under the communist system. this led to teaching posts in the u.s. at the universities of columbia and hawaii. but his academic career ended abruptly in april 1989. in america, liu xiaobo saw the defiance of chinese students on the streets of beijing, and he immediately returned to china to join the protests in tiananmen square. as the demonstrations gathered momentum, he convinced fellow protesters to begin a hunger strike. [crowd singing] >> narrator: just a day later, violence flared as the chinese
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government ordered the army to quash the student protest. >> narrator: to prevent more deaths, liu xiaobo and his colleagues held talks with the army and urged thousands of students to leave the square. the chinese government say 241 people died in the clashes, but reports have put the death toll in the thousands. shortly after tiananmen, liu xiaobo was jailed for 20 months for counterrevolutionary behavior. but the nightmare of tiananmen
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had changed him. the firebrand student became a campaigning writer, dedicated to promoting change in china. but he refused to be silenced and continued to criticize the government, which led to his imprisonment again in 1995. >> this is a universal value, human rights. and human rights and freedom of expression, this is a basic, fundamental right of each single person. and china has it written down in the constitution. >> narrator: in 1996, liu xiaobo was sentenced to three years in a labor camp.
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during his imprisonment, he married liu xia, who he'd known since the 1980s. the couple wrote many love letters, which they have since published. >> narrator: in 2008, liu xiaobo co-authored charter 08, a manifesto of 19 demands calling on the government to give the chinese people greater political freedom. he was immediately arrested and sentenced to 11 years in jail for seeking to end one-party rule in china.
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>> narrator: liu xiaobo is the only author of charter 08 to have been arrested, but his detention has given him international status and international recognition. >> for over two decades, liu xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in china. >> narrator: the chinese government reacted to the peace prize with outrage.
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>> narrator: since the nobel prize announcement, no one has seen his wife, liu xia. she remains under house arrest. just before she was detained, she was able to describe what happened when she went to tell liu xiaobo he'd been awarded the nobel peace prize. captioning by captionmax for love of liberty
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was made possible with major support from... the story of african-american servicemen and women in our military begins long before the first shots were fired in the revolutionary war, and it continues to this day. it's a story that needs to be shared, yet, until now, these individual tales and extraordinary acts of heroism have gone untold. which is why the united states army is proud to support for love of liberty.
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may their stories inspire the love of liberty inside us all. additional support was provided by... u.s. bank is pleased to recognize the bravery and strength of our african- american military personnel, who served in defense of our nation's freedom. u.s. bank. more than 55,000 employees strong. all of us serving you. ford motor company is a proud sponsor of for love of liberty.
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[canon fires] quote: "i have stood in battle, where balls, like hail, were flying all around me. the man standing next to me was shot by my side, his blood spouted upon my clothes, which i wore for weeks. my nearest blood, except that which runs in my veins, was shed for liberty. liberty is dear to my heart. i cannot endure the thought that my countrymen should be slaves." (revolutionary war veteran samuel harris) hello, i'm colin powell, and i was an american soldier for 35 years.
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i was a black american soldier, and i followed in a long tradition of black men and women who have served this nation since long before our revolutionary war. [canon fires] for so many years, they served their nation without their nation ever serving them. they served because they believe in this nation, they believe in the promise of our democracy. they believe in what the declaration of independence and the constitution said. but for so many years they were denied the rights and the privileges that other americans enjoyed. their story isn't well-known. their story was suppressed. historians did not write about it well enough. but there's a wonderful story. it is a story of a group of americans who never lost their love of this country, never lost their faith in what the founding fathers had promised. and that's why this story is simply called for love of liberty. ♪ the minstrel boy to the war has gone ♪
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♪ in the ranks of death you will find him ♪ ♪ his father's sword has girded on ♪ ♪ and his wild harp slung behind him ♪ ♪ and said "no chains shall sully thee ♪ ♪ thou soul of love and brav'ry ♪ ♪ the songs were made for the pure and free ♪ ♪ they shall never sound in slavery" ♪
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halle berry: the record of this nation's african-american servicemen and women is a heroic story draped in irony. why, despite enormous injustice, did these determined individuals fight so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy? the answer to this question can be found in the letters, diaries, thoughts and reflections of those who were there. their words are relevant to every american, and speak of courage, honor, duty and sacrifice, for love of liberty. i'm halle berry, and this is their story. narrator: five years before the american revolution, on march 5, 1770, angry boston citizens confronted british soldiers
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who had been sent to enforce english tax laws. a black man shouted, "be not afraid," and led the protesters into the fray. the redcoats raised their weapons and fired. [gunfire] in that one volley, crispus attucks, an escaped slave, became the first man to die for a cause that would become the war for independence. quote: "who set the example of guns? who taught the british soldier that he might be defeated? who dared look into his eyes? i place, therefore, this crispus attucks, in the foremost rank of the men that dared." (john hancock) narrator: when patrick henry said, "give me liberty or give me death," negroes accounted for nearly 20% of america's population.
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most were slaves. quote: "i was born on the eastern shore of maryland, in the year of our lord 1753, in a state of slavery and belonged to francis de shields. he was a colonel in washington's army. i was with him through the whole course of the revolutionary war. there, human blood ran down in torrents till the waters of the river were red as crimson." (revolutionary war veteran james roberts) narrator: in the spring of 1775, england sent a detachment of 700 men to concord, massachusetts to destroy the colony's military supplies. paul revere passed the word that british regulars were coming and minutemen, both black and white, were waiting for them at lexington.
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prince esterbrook was among those patriots who were wounded. he was a slave. quote: "at lexington they did appear arrayed in hostile form, and tho our friends were peaceful there, yet on them fell the storm. thrice happy they who thus resign into the peaceful grave much better there, in death confin'd than a surviving slave." (poet/soldier/preacher lemuel haynes) narrator: two months later, the british once again took the offensive. free men of color were among the patriots gathered at bunker hill to stop them. england would eventually win the day, but not before the militiamen, despite being badly outnumbered, inflicted devastating losses. eyewitness accounts of that day are contradictory, but in 1818, historian & author samuel swett would write...
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quote: "among those who mounted the works was the gallant major pitcairn, who exultingly cried out, "the day is ours," when a black soldier named salem shot him through and he fell. (writer samuel swett) narrator: george washington took command of the continental army two weeks later and promptly called for volunteers. black men, however, were specifically forbidden from enlisting. quote: "neither negroes, boys unable to bear arms, nor old men unfit to endure the fatigue of the campaign are to be enlisted." (generaleorge washington) narrator: among the assumptions were, that blacks were too cowardly to fight, that armed slaves would be a danger to their masters, and if they fought, then they must be freed. still, others believed their service to be undignified and beneath the great principles of the revolution.
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quote: "is it consistent with the sons of freedom to trust their all to be defended by slaves?" (general philip schuyler continental army) narrator: not all the founding fathers agreed with those sentiments. john adams noted in his diary... quote: "they say if one thousand regular british troops should land in georgia, and their commander provided them with arms and clothes, and proclaimed freedom, 20,000 negroes would join from georgia and south carolina, in a fortnight." (john adams) narrator: the english came to the same conclusion, and lord dunmore, the british governor of virginia, issued a proclamation inviting slaves to join the royal forces. quote: "i do hereby declare all negroes free, that are willing to bear arms, for the more speedily reducing the colony
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to a proper sense of their duty to his majesty's crown and dignity." (lord dunmore) narrator: despite the many obvious reasons to serve under the british, the negro's primary loyalty was to the principle of liberty. a slave poet named phillis wheatley expressed those sentiments in a letter, which was published in the connecticut gazette in 1774. quote from letter: "in every human breast, god has implanted a principle, which we call love of freedom; it is impatient of oppression, and pants for deliverance." (poet phillis wheatley) narrator: alexander hamilton held, such beliefs went to the heart of the revolution and pressed the continental congress to allow black men to enlist. quote: "i have not the least doubt that negroes will make very excellent soldiers. an essential part of the plan is to give them their freedom with their muskets.
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this will secure their fidelity and animate their courage by opening the door to their emancipation." (alexander hamilton) narrator: desperate for soldiers, general washington agreed. quote: "as the general is informed that numbers of free negroes are desirous of enlisting, he gives leave to the recruiting officers to entertain them, and promises to lay the matter before congress, who, he doubts not, will approve it." (general george washington) narrator: during the long and bitter fight that was the american revolution would shed their blood. the most famous being the 130-some men of the 1st rhode island regiment. they received their baptism by fire at the battle of rhode island. samuel harris was among them. quote: "the regiment to which i belonged was ordered to what was called a flanking position. it was a post of imminent danger;
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they attacked us with great fury, but were repulsed. again they reinforced, and attacked us again, with more vigor and determination, and again were repulsed. again they reinforced, and attacked us ththird time, with the most desperate courage and resolution, but a third time were repulsed. the contest was fearful. our position was hotly disputed and as hotly maintained." (1st rhode island veteran dr. samuel harris) narrator: slaves served the cause of liberty behind the lines as well. in 1781, the continental army, assisted by a french officer, the marquis de lafayette, was preparing to fight a decisive battle. the british commander, general cornwallis, believed he would be victorious. what he didn't know, was that in his dining room,
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mingling amongst his officers, was a black servant named james, who also happened to be an american spy. his information helped the colonists defeat england at the battle of yorktown. lafayette would later write... quote: "this negro spy properly acquitted himself with some important communications i gave him. his intelligence from the enemy's camp were industriously collected and more faithfully delivered." (marquis de lafayette) narrator: after eight long years of war, america had won its freedom. the ideals of the revolution were permanently enshrined in a national motto, "e pluribus unum" - "out of many, one." for some, that included blacks. quote: "holding fellow men in bondage and slavery is repugnant to the golden law of god and the inalienable right of mankind,
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as well as every principle of the late glorious revolution." (maryland plantation owner philip graham) narrator: southern political leaders disagreed, and in 1787 made their views known at philadelphia's constitutional convention. quote: "religion and humanity have nothing to do with this question. the true question at present is whether the southern states shall or shall not be parties to the union. if the northern states consult their interest, they will not oppose the increase of slaves, which will increase the commodities of which they will become the carriers." (constitutional convention delegate john rutledge) narrator: the argument prevailed. when "we the people of the united states," finally ratified the constitution, it promised to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," yet did nothing to eliminate slavery in the south.
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some black veterans were reclaimed by their former masters as property. james roberts was one of them. quote: "honor, justice, and the hope of being set free with my wife and four little ones, prompted me to return home. i was soon after separated from my wife and children and sold for $1,500. and now will commence the statement of my wages, for all my fighting & suffering in the revolutionary war for the liberty of this ungrateful, illiberal country, to me and my race." (revolutionary war veteran james roberts) narrator: in 1794, eli whitney unveiled his cotton gin. within three generations, america's slave population would grow from 700,000 to four million.
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quote: "i would never have drawn my sword in the cause of america if i could have conceived that thereby i was helping to found a nation of slaves." (marquis de lafayette) berry: the "second war of american independence" was declared on great britain in june of 1812. it was fought over freedom of the seas and national pride. as in the revolution, the fear of arming large numbers of black men prevented most african-americans from serving in the united states army. the navy, however, was a different story. quote: "i have never had any better fighters than those niggers.
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they stripped to the waist and fought like devils, sir, seeming to be utterly insensible to danger, and to be possessed with the determination to outfight white sailors." (captain isaac hull commander, uss constitution) narrator: during the war of 1812, roughly 10% of all the men who put to sea were black. quote: "i think it is the duty of every man to stand in defense of his country, whether black or white." (seaman augustus thomas) narrator: nathaniel shaler, captain of the governor thompkins, articulated their heroism best when he wrote of his battle with three british warships. quote: "her first broadside killed two men and wounded others.
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the name of one of my poor fellows who was killed ought to be registered in the book of fame and remembered with reverence as long as bravery is considered a virtue. [canon fires] he was a black man by the name of john johnson. a 24-pound shot struck him in the hip and took away all the lower part of his body. in this state, the poor brave fellow lay on the deck, and several times exclaimed to his shipmates, "fire away, my boys, no haul a color down." the other, also a black man, by the name of john davis, was struck in much the same way. he fell near me, and several times requested to be thrown overboard, saying he was only in the way of the others. while america has such tars, she has little to fear from the tyrants of the sea."
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narrator: the idea that america held slaves was an irony not lost upon the british. as they had during the revolution, the english made an effort to recruit african-americans. an eyewitness whose name history records as "the old sub" was there. quote: "a great number of negroes, delighted at the unhoped-for freedom our expedition had placed within their reach, were of course received on board the fleet. fire! [gunfire] perfect freedom, that freedom which the vaunted land of liberty denied them, was guaranteed to all." narrator: some 200 of these "black marines"


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