Paint It Pink

Looks like the renovation of T.R.R. Cobb’s home in Athens, Georgia is causing a bit of a problem, though not for the reasons you might suspect.  While no one seemed to have a problem with the use of the mansion as a fraternity house, rectory, and apartment building, the decision by conservators to restore the building to its original color has some staring in disbelief.  Yes, the general apparently preferred bubble-gum pink.

The reaction ranged from angry to amused. Some who had fought against the house liked it. "Just horrible," said others. Dixie diehards refused to believe it. A guy in a pickup drove up and threatened to paint over it. According to local heritage experts, one of Cobb’s direct descendants, Marion Cannon, sniffed: "T.R.R. Cobb would never paint his house that color."

The controversy over the return of the Cobb House shows that modern Athens still struggles with its philosophical place as the Confederacy’s "city on the hill." But the color choice has injected another curious dimension into the debate. It has suggested a softer side to the otherwise irascible general and, in the process, diverted some attention from the political feud over his house, currently scheduled to open as a museum next year. At the same time, it has given insight into how conservators increasingly try to help Americans "see" history – and how deeply memory and myth still mingle in a region bedeviled by an uncomfortable past.

Well if this is not one of the clearest examples of the wide gulf between the agendas of heritage groups and historians/curators.  Perhaps they should paint a large Confederate battle flag on the front of the home.  Maybe that will satisfy or comfort the masses.  Read the entire article.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

1 comment… add one
  • elementaryhistoryteacher May 16, 2006 @ 17:46

    Perhaps my fellow redneckersons have never had a course in Antebellum architecture. The average American including Southerners want to hold on to their romantic historical myths. There were not “Taras” all over Georgia, and some folks liked pink. It usually is quite shocking to find out how things really were.

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