12 Years a Slave in Theatres Now

12 Years a SlaveLike many of you I am very much looking forward to seeing this movie. It looks like Hollywood’s sesquicentennial trifecta will go down with Lincoln, Django Unchained, and now 12 Years a Slave. These three movies collectively have both reflected and come to define current thinking about- and memory of the Civil War Era.

This image alone gives me hope that the movie will be both intellectually and emotionally stimulating. In doing so, let’s hope it challenge many of the public’s assumptions about the “peculiar institution.”

Anyone who has read Solomon Northrup’s narrative will agree that his story is worthy of Hollywood’s attention, but it is interesting that it beat Frederick Douglass’s much more popular account of slavery and freedom to the big screen.

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OK, Who Stole the Sherman’s March Marker?

Sherman's March MarkerApparently, somebody decided to have a little fun and steal the memorial marker to Sherman’s March located on North Clark Street in Milledgeville, Georgia. According to the story, it is not the first time the sign has gone missing. Perhaps the guilty party is attempting to revise the narrative. Actually, I suspect it’s a college prank.

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John Green’s Crash Course on the Civil War

A couple of colleagues in my history department utilize a few of John Green’s history video series. I never heard of him before this year, but apparently they are very popular with students. His most recent course is on the Civil War. It’s not a complete disaster. In fact, there are aspects of it that I really like. Green read a little David Goldfield and James McPherson and I really like the way he reinforces the causal importance of slavery.

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Jonathan Jarvis Goes To Washington

Jonathan JarvisI looked forward to sharing video of National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis’s testimony in front of a House committee that took place earlier today. Even though I found full coverage of the hearing I decided against linking to it in any way. As you might expect there was very little opportunity for Jarvis to share anything substantive concerning the implementation of park policies and I didn’t see any reason to give these people an additional platform. [click to continue…]

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About that Flag In Front of the White House

Once again, Ta-Nehisi Coates nails it:

It is the wisdom of the crowd that matters. The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the idea that the president “bows down to Allah” and needs to “put the Qu’ran down.” The wisdom that marked Sunday’s crowd was the notion that Obama was not the president of “the people” but the president of “his people.” The wisdom of Sunday’s crowd held that the police, doing their job, looked “like something out of Kenya.” It’s not so much that a man would fly a Confederate flag, as Jeff Goldberg notes, in front of the home of a black family. It’s that a crowd would allow him the comfort of doing it. [click to continue…]

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