Glory is a 1989 American war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The film is about one of the first military units of the Union Army during the American Civil War to be made up entirely of African-American men (except for its officers), as told from the point of view of Colonel Shaw (Matthew Broderick), its white commanding officer. The regiment is especially known for its heroic actions at Fort Wagner.
The 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry leads the charge on Fort Wagner and heavy casualties ensue from artillery fire. As night falls, the bombardment continues, forestalling progress. Attempting to spur his men forward, Shaw is shot and killed. Trip (Denzel Washington) lifts up the flag and rallies the soldiers to continue the charge, even as Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) provides covering fire. Trip is shot several times while doing so but holds up the flag to his last breath. Forbes (Cary Elwes) takes charge of the regiment, and the soldiers are able to break through the fort’s outer defenses but find themselves greatly outnumbered. The morning after the battle, the beach is shown littered with bodies of Union soldiers and the Confederate flag is raised over the fort. The corpses are buried in a mass grave, with Shaw and Trip’s bodies next to each other.
The closing narration reveals that Fort Wagner was never taken by Union forces but that the courage demonstrated by the soldiers of the 54th resulted in the Union accepting thousands of black men for combat, which President Abraham Lincoln credited with turning the tide of the war.
What do these clips say about the importance of dignity and pride for ALL people? Standing together in solidarity is something that is rarely seen in society today. How can you, as a teenager, right a wrong and stand up for what you believe in? Taking a nod from Dr. Martin Luther King, how can we stop injustices in a peaceful and purposeful way?