Yesterday I learned that the Board of Governors at the University of North Carolina Press gave Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth its final approval. I knew the decision was scheduled to take place and that it would be a formality, but it was still a thrill to receive official notice. [click to continue…]
I am currently making my way through David Blight’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster, 2018). No, the book is not published. I just managed to get a review copy from the publisher. Blight is at the top of his game in this book so go ahead and pre-order your copy.
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This story brought a huge smile to my face. In New Orleans a group of third graders was given the task of imagining a new use for the empty pedestals throughout the city that once featured Confederate leaders. The students were aided by 826 New Orleans, which supports efforts to improve students’ reading and thinking skills. The results speak for themselves. [click to continue…]
Harold “Hari” Jones (1958-2018)
While overseas last week I learned of the untimely passing of Hari Jones. Hari is best known for his work with the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, D.C. You have likely seen him on any number of C-SPAN recordings and other videos about the Civil War. He was a tireless advocate of the USCT story and he will be greatly missed.
I first met Hari back in 2009 during the research phase for my book on the history and memory of the battle of the Crater. I interviewed a number of African Americans about what they had learned about the USCT story growing up, including Hari. I fondly remember our walk through the Shaw neighborhood of D.C. where he worked at the time and where he believed the story of the USCT must play a vital role in its revitalization. [click to continue…]
Last night the city of Charleston issued a formal apology for its role in the slave trade. Among its many horrors was the forced separation of innocent children from their parents at every stage of this process from the beginning of the Middle Passage to their sale at auction blocks across what became the United States of America. All of this was perfectly legal and sanctioned by the Church. [click to continue…]
Those of you living in Richmond, Virginia and surrounding communities may have heard a small explosion this morning. That was the sound of the neo-Confederate community waking up to learn that the Richmond school board voted to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to honor President Barack Obama. [click to continue…]
The last thing I did before leaving Charlottesville, Virginia last week was sit down to record an episode of Colin Woodward’s Amerikan Rambler podcast. It was a pleasure to be able to chat with Colin in person and an opportunity to say thank you for his willingness to read and comment on a chapter of my forthcoming book on the history of Confederate camp slaves and myth of the black Confederate soldier. [click to continue…]
Last week it was announced that one of the most iconic photographs from the Civil War era has been misidentified. I don’t mind admitting that I found this news to be a slightly jarring experience. The photograph of Confederate soldiers in Frederick, Maryland transports us back to September 1862, we believed, just days before the battle of Antietam. These Confederate soldiers survived the brutal fighting around Richmond and at Second Manassas before entering United States territory for a showdown with the Union army that might bring an end to the war and independence. [click to continue…]