The Only Way Ann DeWitt Knows How To Respond

Ann DeWitt's Black Confederate Website

Imagine my surprise today when I opened my email to find a notification from YouTube that my video screencast/critique of Ann DeWitt’s Black Confederate website had been removed owing to copyright infringements.  The copyright infringement was instigated by Ms. DeWitt herself:

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Ann DeWitt claiming that this material is infringing:

Examining Black Confederate Websites: #2

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.  If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Center.  Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was disabled due to mistake or misidentification may be liable for damages.


— The YouTube Team

You may remember that I recently uploaded two screencasts in which I critiqued some of the more popular black Confederate websites.  I’ve noticed that Ms. DeWitt’s postings at the Southern Heritage Preservation page are no longer public.  No doubt, her recent discovery of a regiment of black Confederate cooks led to this decision.  For someone who claims to have built an educational site she certainly has little patience with formal critiques that point out shortcomings and outright distortions in her own “research.”  Is this how an educator responds?  Not to worry as I still plan on using her website as part of my teacher workshop presentations on digital media literacy.

Now who is trying to suppress open discussion?


10 comments… add one
  • paul Sep 4, 2011 @ 10:27

    This notice makes pretty clear that the proprietors are not really interested in debate/discussion that might challenge their position.

    “© Copyright 2010-2012. Black Confederate Soldiers Website. Ann DeWitt. | Contact
    All rights reserved. This website may not be broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed
    without prior written permission of Ann DeWitt or Kevin M. Weeks.”

    Hard to say if someone like this is worth engaging or simply ignoring, maybe put the site/proprietors on a list of untrustworthy sources or non-academic hobbyists.

    It’s not a new discovery that blacks were engaged as cooks and servants by the CSA: Gen’l Cleburne’s letter of Jan 1864 mentions that “A sufficient number of slaves is now administering to luxury alone.” The fact that he is arguing for the arming and training of blacks at that late date suggests that there weren’t any.

    Hard to believe this still being argued.

  • Dr. Dolores V. Sisco Sep 1, 2011 @ 8:02

    I just took another look at DeWitt’s website – this time I checked her
    recommended reading list. I hope she did not use these as credbile
    academic sources. My response: “Lady, are you serious?!

    • Kevin Levin Sep 1, 2011 @ 8:04

      The list is a complete joke. It reflects her complete ignorance of the relevant secondary scholarly literature.

      • RA Raines Sep 4, 2011 @ 8:34

        Are you challenging her claim?

        • Kevin Levin Sep 4, 2011 @ 8:35

          I am looking into it. YouTube doesn’t make it easy. That said there are plenty of other ways I can draw attention to the quality of her website.

  • Marc Ferguson Aug 31, 2011 @ 14:10

    From academic integrity to Fair Use to working with and understanding primary history sources, Ann DeWitt clearly doesn’t understand what it means to be an educator.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 31, 2011 @ 14:16

      It’s pretty pathetic and unfortunate, but just another indication that we are dealing with someone completely unqualified to engage in serious discussion about this subject.

  • Donald Shaffer Aug 31, 2011 @ 12:16

    Kevin: what a dirty trick–definitely an abuse of copyright law not to mention unethical. Looking forward to hearing your lowdown on John Stauffer’s presentation.


  • Andrea Aug 31, 2011 @ 12:05

    As an ‘educator’, Ann DeWitt should also be conscious of academic integrity, and fair use policy. But then again, since she so overwhelmingly ignores what isn’t convenient for her, my guess is she doesn’t really bother with either.

    A Librarian in Wisconsin 😉

    • Kevin Levin Aug 31, 2011 @ 12:07

      Thanks for the comment, Andrea.

      I am definitely going to challenge this silliness.

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