‘A Way of Life Built on Black Bodies’

black confederate

The most recent episode of Vice Does America takes viewers to Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, to meet with Choctaw Native Americans and Jacksonville, Alabama for a Civil War reenactment. The reenactment is well worth watching. It’s begins innocently enough with Abdullah Saeed, Wilbert L. Cooper, and Martina de Alba taking sides and suiting up in their respective uniforms, but things take a sudden turn once Cooper is approached by a Confederate reenactor. [Begin at the 16 minute mark and watch til the end.]

Cooper is asked by the reenactor why he chose the Union group instead of the Confederate, which he claims was integrated and clearly implying that black men fought in the ranks. Cooper’s response directly challenges the underpinnings of the black Confederate narrative. If you want to know what the black Confederate narrative is really about, give it a listen.

It is definitely worth your time.

3 comments… add one
  • bob carey Aug 12, 2016 @ 15:58

    I had to watch the one part 3 times just to make sure I heard it right. The one Confederate says that some of the slave owners beat their slaves bad, but most of the slave owners didn’t beat their slaves that badly. There must of been acceptable norms for beating defenseless people. What a mentality to have!!!!
    Outwardly it seemed that the Confederates were surprised that the Black man chose to fight on the Union side, but as the clip went on it was evident that he would not have been welcomed.
    I concur with Scott, both segments were interesting and provocative.

  • Scott Ledridge Aug 12, 2016 @ 11:25

    The first segment was also incredibly interesting. Tangible evidence of bad practices on the environment and climate change, that most people never see.

    The re-enactment part was surprisingly interesting. I’ve never attended one. It was good to see the initial apprehension on the part of the 3; but, then see them embrace the experience and really try to enjoy it. I’ll admit that I was cringing the entire segment, just waiting for some sort of altercation. Unfortunately, it happened.

  • Bryan Cheeseboro Aug 11, 2016 @ 17:41

    Reality TV does not do much for me but I think this video uncovers a very ugly truth about some of what goes on in the hobby. Like the Black man said, I’ve met some wonderful people in the hobby and I’ve had some fantastic experiences. For me,reenacting has been truly rewarding and validating in many ways. But unfortunately, I’ve also encountered people like the Confederate reenactor. I went to an event where a guy practically begged me to be a Black Confederate. I won’t be doing that. Wilbert is right- it’s so interesting that all of this inaccurate stuff like drinking sodas and playing on cel phones would be taking place and the guy would zero in on a Black man because he was doing something outside of his comfort zone. Too bad.

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