For this former resident of Charlottesville, Virginia the events of this past weekend hit close to home. My wife and I are still coming to terms with the violence and scenes of bloodshed on streets that we used to walk. The educator in me has been thinking about ways that I can put my skills to use for those of you who are now either beginning the new school year or are just now heading back into the classroom. [click to continue…]
The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has already pushed the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky to take steps to remove its Confederate monuments. A councilman in Baltimore wants to see its monument of Lee and Jackson destroyed. Protesters marched last night in Richmond down Monument Avenue. This will continue and more monuments will come down. [click to continue…]
Make no mistake about it, yesterday’s neo-Nazi rally in defense of the Robert E. Lee monument was a turning point in the broader debate about the place of these structures in our communities. Yes, monuments have already been taken down and flags lowered, but the sight of swastikas, battle flags, and men carrying automatic weapons will shift the relevant questions and clarify what is at stake moving forward. [click to continue…]
This morning I am bracing for the steady stream of photographs and videos that will soon litter my social media feeds from my former home of Charlottesville, Virginia. As most of you know a neo-Nazi rally is planned for Emancipation (formerly Lee) Park to protest the planned removal of the Robert E. Lee Monument. Last night an unscheduled rally took place on the campus of the University of Virginia around a statue of the man who believed that the black and white races could never live peacefully together. [click to continue…]
Last night the Richmond Monument Avenue Commission held its first public forum at the Virginia Historical Society. It went about as well as I predicted. You can read about it here, here, and here. The commission went into this meeting hoping to steer the discussion away from removal to what it describes as a “middle-of-the-road” solution. The audience appeared to largely ignore the direction and I can’t say that I blame them. At its heart this discussion is about deeply-held beliefs about history, heritage, and community identity. [click to continue…]
Many of you out there will be happy to hear that I am in the home stretch of my book on the Confederate camp slave and the myth of the black Confederate soldier. I am working feverishly on completing the final two chapters. The manuscript will be sent off to the University of North Carolina Press at the end of September. [click to continue…]
I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not Shelby Foote is properly described as a historian. What I can say is that after reading an interview with him in Confederate Veteran magazine in 1991, I can safely conclude that his understanding of the history of slavery and the Civil War is fundamentally flawed. [click to continue…]
Catherine Templeton, who is running to be South Carolina’s next governor, had this to say in response to critics who took issue with her position on the display of Confederate monuments.
Regarding the Confederate Flag: pic.twitter.com/bmU6oGrKhH
— Catherine Templeton (@TempletonCath) August 3, 2017
This is absolute nonsense. Voters in South Carolina should demand an answer to a very simple question: Does Ms. Templeton wish that the Confederacy had been successful in its bid for independence?
No one is asking her to “disavow” her family or to sweep the state’s history under the table, but if someone running for public office claims to embrace or have pride in the history of the Confederacy in 2017, you better be prepared to explain it.
So, short of wishing that they had won,exactly what does it mean to be a “proud Daughter of the Confederacy.”