By Larry-Michael Mencer-Aclise
YONGZHOU, China – Three Hampton University students took part in a journey through mainland China. Hosted by ICN Television network, students Larry-Michael Mencer-Aclise, Miah Harris and Zhavier Harris participated in and covered the significance of various traditions of Chinese culture. [Assistant Professor Kangming Ma, Ph.D., supervised the students.]
On Aug., 24, the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications team was on set at the Xiaoshui River in Yongzhou to pay respects to Chen Shuxiang, commander of the 34th Red Army Division. In October of 1934, the 29-year-old was appointed to lead a 6,000-member force that trudged to the historic city to provide relief for beleaguered soldiers crossing the river there. The event was known as The Long March, a 368-day campaign that covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance between New York and San Francisco, noted History.com.
At that time, the Red Army, since 1927, had been engaged in a civil war with nationalist forces led by Chiang Kai-shek, according to History.com
Information retrieved by Hampton student correspondents from search engine baidu.com provides this narrative: By the time the commander arrived, Shuxiang's force had been cut down to 1,000 men. When they tried to cross the river, they were ambushed, and Shuxiang was captured after being wounded in the torso by a bomb. Upon realizing they had captured a high-ranking official, enemy forces were ecstatic and offered treatment. Knowing the gesture was only an attempt to extract information, Shuxiang refused such treatment and purposely ripped his intestines out, killing himself. His head was later cut off and hung to intimidate oncoming forces.
Locals would later bury his headless body inside Dao County where today people visit his cemetery to pay respect to his legacy.
China has already proven itself to be a true experience for Hampton University students. As a team of three works its way through the vast mountains and forests, they can only hold tight to their cameras in anticipation for what will happen next.
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.