The Black Confederate Trend

A couple of years ago I tried to track the frequency of references to “black Confederates” on the Internet by using Google’s Ngram application. Unfortunately, it is no longer available, but I did recently come across Google’s Trend application, which functions along the same lines. It also includes more recent data. Back in September I discussed the possibility that this narrative has finally peaked.

The spike before 2010 corresponds to the Washington Post report on a Virginia textbook that included a reference to thousands of blacks fighting with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. You will also notice a spike in the middle of 2011, which is when History Detectives aired its segment debunking the story of Silas Chandler.

Click here on how to interpret Google’s Trend Graphs.

8 comments… add one
  • I think Google moved its Ngram Viewer into its Books subdomain, but it’s still there.

    (Thank goodness. You had me worried for a sec.)

    Reply
  • Ngrams can still be plotted https://books.google.com/ngrams

    Reply
    • Thanks

      Reply
  • Kevin,

    Thanks for using this excellent tool in evaluating a persistent myth.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue

    Reply
  • Reply
    • I didn’t.

      Reply
      • Have you seen the comments on that article today, Kevin? When I emailed the link last night, there was 1 comment about Black Confederates. Now there are 8, all of them stating black Confederate soldiers as fact with no one (even black people) disputing the claim.

        Reply
        • There are over 100 now, but I can’t bring myself to read the comments.

          Reply

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