This morning I started writing with the intention of finishing a rough draft of the final chapter of my black Confederates book. The big question that I still needed to nail down was where exactly to end it. By mid-morning I had my answer.
News out of South Carolina revealed that two Republican state legislators proposed that a monument to African Americans who fought as soldiers for the Confederacy should be erected on the State House grounds in Columbia. It should come as no surprise that both men voted against the removal of the Confederate battle flag in 2015 and that they fully embrace the Lost Cause narrative of the war. Later in the day I did an interview with Newsweek about this story.
This most recent proposal proved to be the perfect place to end my final chapter. The embrace of the black Confederate narrative is now little more than a desperate attempt to hold back the tide of monument removals and the continued assault on the Lost Cause. As I have argued elsewhere, ultimately the goals that the SCV and other heritage groups hoped to achieve by rallying around mythical black Confederate soldiers failed.
Tonight for the first time I am looking at a book manuscript with a beginning and an end. I am still not quite finished. Over the next three weeks I will go back through the manuscript to tighten up and revise certain sections before it is sent off to the University of North Carolina Press. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.