Upcoming Appearance by Earl Ijames

We haven’t heard from our favorite “colored Confederate” researcher in quite some time, but it looks like Earl Ijames will be taking part in an upcoming conference on United States Colored Troops in New Bern, North Carolina.  The conference is being sponsored by the New Bern Historical Society and runs from May 6-9.  The conference is free and open to the general public.  Interestingly, Mr. Ijames will speak as part of a session on “The Myth of Black Confederates”.  I have no idea why a session on this subject would be included in a conference on USCTs.  I would love to attend, but unfortunately, this is a pretty busy time of year for me at school.

It would be great if someone could attend and take notes and/or audio of his presentation.  We have notes and audio from Mr. Ijames’s last presentation in Savannah, Georgia in which you can read and listen to some of the most incoherent claims made about this complex and widely misunderstood subject.  With the help of numerous people we’ve been able to discredit much of Mr. Ijames’s research on a case-by-case basis on this site.  I am curious as to what he will say about Weary Clyburn and John Venable.  [For a sense of just how irresponsible Ijames can be, check out the contradictory claims made about Clyburn.]  Mr. Ijames is responsible for a number of dubious claims about this subject and has refused to publish anything based on his research even after over ten years working at both the North Carolina Department of Archives and History and North Carolina Museum of History.  I am hoping that someone will be able to attend.

6 responses... add one

It should certainly be interesting. Ijames is teamed up against Asa Gordon of the S&DUSCT. I would love to know how descendants of actual black soldiers feel about the topic of black Confederates.

I’ve met Asa on a few occasions and he seems to be a good enough guy, but I have no idea whether he is qualified to speak on this issue. That he is a descendant of a USCT is interesting, but not necessarily a qualification to speak on the topic.

Earl Ijames is like a lot of people who dig around in records about the CW they know just enough to be dangerous. I hope that your book your going to write will clear this nonsense up and we will have either no more talk about Black Confederates or Some will be proven to be True though exceptions to the rule.

What needs to happen is ask Mr. Ijames why, given his years of research and direct, immediate access to primary source material, why he has (as I understand) not published anything peer-reviewed on the topic, or had anything put out by a major academic publisher. The notion of black Confederates is intriguing, compelling, and groundbreaking. It would rewrite the narrative. If he had sound scholarship behind it, he could have his pick of professional journals or publishers. That he hasn’t done this yet becomes more and more curious by the day.

I did ask him and he failed to provide an adequate response. That said, I can tell you why he has not published anything and the reason has to do with the quality of his research. Based on what I’ve read there isn’t a journal around that would publish his findings. Most of his presentations have been in front of non-academic audiences which guarantees that he will not be challenged by those who are much more familiar with the relevant primary and secondary sources.

Kevin you ought to Bobby Flay Ijames and show up and lay down the gauntlet once and for all.

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