New to the Civil War Memory Library, 06/21

David RieffWilliam A. Link and James J. Broomall eds., Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, A Field Guide to Antietam: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

David Rieff, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies (Yale University Press, 2016).

Robert K. Sutton and John A. Latschar eds., The Reconstruction Era (Eastern National, 2016).

Wendy Warren, New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America (Liveright, 2016).

Chad Williams, Kidida E. Williams, and Keisha N. Blain eds., Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016).

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Southern Baptists Call for Removal of Confederate Flag

Confederate Flag

Update: Dr. James Merritt speaks in support of the resolution calling for the ban of the Confederate Battle Flag.

Earlier today the members of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from public life. It reads in part:

… we call on all persons, along with public, governmental, and religious institutions to discontinue the display of the Confederate Battle Flag and work diligently to remove vestigial symbols of racism from public life as evidence of the fruits of repentance that we have made for our past bigotries and as a step in good faith toward racial healing in America, to the end that we truly become — in word and deed — ‘one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’

Read the rest of the resolution here.

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Interpreting Reconstruction at Historic Sites

Henry_P._Moore_(American_-_Slaves_of_General_Thomas_F._Drayton_-_Google_Art_Project

Not much going on this week. I am finishing up my presentations for CWI, which kicks off this coming Friday.

Here is one of the sessions from a recent symposium on Reconstruction that took place at the Columbia Museum of Art in April. This panel discussion on the ongoing push to find a suitable historic site to interpret Reconstruction was moderated by Eric Foner and includes Greg Downs and Kate Masur, who are both working with the National Park Service on this project. It is well worth watching.

I want to send this one out to my fellow blogger in “Old Virginia,” who has found a not so clever way of making the point that American slavery wasn’t so bad. Yes, slavery apologists are alive and well. This is the same individual who maintains that Stonewall Jackson was the “black man’s friend.” 🙂

Commentary like this serves as a reminder of why the history of American slavery and race is so important for us to understand.

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New Interpretive Plaque at Ole Miss

Ole MissEarlier this year the University of Mississippi announced plans to place an interpretive plaque at the site of the Confederate soldier statue on campus. It created a bit of a buzz on campus and led to the university’s History Department issuing its own alternative interpretation. As indicated in the first link above, I also expressed some concern about the plaque. [click to continue…]

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“Does Any One Remember Negro Confederates?”

lee-black-confederatesOn a number of occasions over the past few years I have announced a cash award for anyone who can locate a piece of wartime evidence that points to the presence of black men fighting as soldiers in the Confederate army. I would love to find a letter or diary entry from a Confederate soldier or newspaper article that points to their presence in the army. I thought a cash award, along with the opportunity to humiliate me publicly, would be sufficient to inspire at least one reader.

As I was filing some documents earlier today I came across this little gem, which may help us better understand why no one has yet to claim the prize. It is a letter-to-the-editor that was published in The Times-Dispatch in March 1915 by a Confederate veteran from Sutherlin, Virginia.  [click to continue…]

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