CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Audiences for the events commemorating the start of the war that extinguished slavery have been nearly all-white, and the reasons aren't exactly a mystery.
Across the region, Civil War commemorations have tended to celebrate the Confederacy and the battlefield exploits of those who fought for the slaveholding South.
But the National Park Service is trying to make anniversary events over the next four years more hospitable to black people.
Carol Shively, a spokeswoman for the Park Service sesquicentennial in the Southeast, says officials are trying to broaden the story to beyond what happened on the battlefield.
The Rev. Joseph Darby of Charleston, who is black, says it's painful for blacks to attend events like the commemoration at Fort Sumter, which marked the bombardment that plunged the U.S. into war.
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