I haven’t had much to say concerning the new movie about Nat Turner called Birth of a Nation. To be completely honest, I almost fell asleep when I saw it on opening day. I don’t want to get into pointing out the numerous problems with its historical foundation as others have already done so. What it comes down to for me is that it just wasn’t a very good movie. It was the same feeling I had when I saw Pearl Harbor. You know how the movie is going to end and you can’t wait for it to arrive.
Rather than review the movie, my latest piece at The Daily Beast explores efforts in Southampton County, Virginia to interpret Nat Turner and the events of 1831 for the first time. Back in February and March I interviewed a couple of people who are working with the Southampton County Historical Society in connection with these efforts and one individual, who you will meet in the essay, who offers a very different tour.