The Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans is gearing up for the sesquicentennial with a series of commercials that will air on the History Channel in December. These videos will fit perfectly in between Ice Road Truckers, American Pickers, Pawn Stars and various documentaries about UFOs and Hitler’s Bunker. The first video offers an outline of what the war was about:
Men and women of the South courageously stood for liberty in the face of insurmountable odds. Is this meant for black and white southerners?
The South peacefully seceded just like the Founding Fathers did in 1776.
All the South wanted was to be left alone to govern itself.
Lincoln fought to maintain taxes and tariffs.
Men like Jackson, Forrest, and Lee fought valiantly and were often outnumbered 5 to 1. You would think that the Georgia Division would reference military leaders from their home state.
As I was going through the videos I realized that this series will make for a very interesting assignment in my Civil War Memory course, which I am teaching next trimester. I am going to split up the class into groups of two and assign a video to each group. Their assignment will be to critique the video by consulting relevant recent scholarship on their respective topics. Students will be responsible for surveying both the strengths and weakness of these videos. For instance, one of the videos on slavery goes into restrictions on free blacks in states like Indiana as well as offering a few points about the place of slavery in the North and involvement in the international slave trade. At the same time the video almost completely ignores the place of slavery in the South. The video on South Carolina’s secession makes no mention of its own Ordinance of Secession. They can write up an analysis and present it to the rest of the class or make a video response and upload it to YouTube. Thanks Georgia SCV.