All indications are that yesterday’s panel discussion at the annual meeting of the National Council on Public History on Confederate monuments and iconography attracted a large and engaged audience. The twitter feed from the session, however, also suggests that many left feeling frustrated. What I gathered from the conversation both confirmed and helped to clarify my own position on this thorny issue.
All four panelists are experts in their respective fields and have worked closely with the general public in various capacities. [click to continue…]
It’s been a couple of years since we last heard from Earl Ijames. Back in 2011-2012 I devoted a good deal of attention to statements Mr. Ijames made in public about what he calls “Colored Confederates.” You can read what I have written here if interested. Today I learn that Mr. Ijames has produced a documentary video titled, “Earl Ijames Colored Confederates and US Colored Troops.”
According to the local newspaper in Kinston, North Carolina:
Drawing on more than 20 years research of primary and genealogical sources, Ijames, who is widely considered the subject matter expert on the African-American experience in the Confederacy, conveys the significance of Confederates of Color before the Emancipation Proclamation and after the creation of the United States Colored Troops. The eight-year project was recorded live and is based on actual events that led to the first monument in American history to honor Confederates of Color.
“Confederates of Color” is another one of those sloppy references that distorts more than it helps to clarify the role African Americans played in the Confederate war effort. That last sentence is a doozy. Confederate veterans and their descendants ‘honored’ African Americans on numerous occasions well into the twentieth century, but up until recently they did so as loyal slaves within the Lost Cause tradition.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the video for sale online.
I am rarely impressed with Hollywood activists, but I have to say that Aunjaune Ellis’s call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag on Mississippi’s state flag is worth considering. Her understanding of the flag combines a clear understanding of some of the relevant history as well as her own family’s painful story.
Currently working on completing a detailed TOC as part of my book proposal on the Myth of the Black Confederate Soldier. I think I just found the perfect title for chapter 7, which explores the spread of this myth on the Internet.
No university has done more to come to terms with its Confederate and racial past than the University of Mississippi. Yesterday, the announcement that the school would install a plaque to add “context” to the Confederate statue at the entrance to Lyceum Circle brings this process one step further. [click to continue…]