My friends at the SHPG were so excited about my first C-SPAN appearance that one member decided to create a short clip of just me. Apparently, my emphasis on the importance of acknowledging northern racism is news. I couldn’t ask for more loyal support and I thank them for it.
I do hope C-SPAN plans on televising the CWI panel on blogging, which also included Harris and Brooks Simpson. Finally, I do want to pass along news of Louis Masur’s new book, which explores the hundred days between Lincoln’s preliminary and final emancipation proclamation. I am about half-way through and enjoying it.
Over the years I’ve come to consider a small number of you as part of my online family. I read your comments with great interest and I’ve learned a great deal as a result. Our online communities are all too often shaped by the worst elements in our society such as ignorance, hatred, and dishonesty. I like to think that Civil War Memory is a place where you can exchange ideas and engage one another in a thoughtful way.
With that in mind I am sad to report that over the weekend Marc Ferguson passed away. Marc was a frequent commenter here going back almost to the beginning. I could always count on Marc to leave a thoughtful and challenging comment in response to my posts. During the research phase of my Crater project he emailed links to online collections and other resources he thought I should check out. Marc was incredibly helpful when I moved to Boston. He suggested places to visit and even offered helpful advice once I began to look for employment.
I knew Marc was sick, but we still talked about getting together. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I am going to miss having Marc around as I know many of you will as well. My thoughts today are with his family.
That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. – Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
[Image: President Obama views Emancipation Proclamation in Oval Office]
So it’s Home Coming week at my school and everyone is supposed to dress up according to the theme of the day. This is what the class of 2014 did on group day (the day that the students themselves dress in whatever theme they want to collectively.) I myself was invited to join in via Facebook, and the theme was chosen via a poll. I did NOT partake in this event but I did record it and I thought that the world should see this. I grew up around people like this doing these sorts of things, but does this seem weird to you? Some of my friends who just so happen to be black saw this and were very offended. You can debate wither or not the students had the right to run around the school gym with a larger than scale Confederate flag, but what I personally think it boils down to is that it should not have been done because it is offensive to people.
I certainly understand this student’s point-of-view, but if you watch the video closely it looks like the kids are poking fun at Southern heritage culture. They are wearing dress that exaggerates a kind of redneck/hick culture. In fact, if you look closely one student is carrying a black flag that says Redneck. I don’t see much reverence for the Confederate flag on display here. I can’t believe the administration allowed this. Oh, those silly kids.