The DeDixiefication of the South Continues

Ole Miss Band

The DeDixiefication of the South continues this week with the news that the University of Mississippi’s marching band has dropped “Dixie” from its playlist. The newly expanded and renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will further highlight our best traditions and create new ones that give the Ole Miss Rebels the best home field advantage in college football,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in a statement. “Because the Pride of the South is such a large part of our overall experience and tradition, the Athletics Department asked them to create a new and modern pregame show that does not include Dixie and is more inclusive for all fans.”

For the Ole Miss community this is the latest in a string of decisions intended to remove or re-interpret Confederate iconography on campus.

Earlier this week Vanderbilt University announced that it will pay the United Daughters of the Confederacy $1.2 million dollars to rename Confederate Memorial Hall. It is the subject of my latest essay at The Daily Beast, which was published earlier today.


New to the Civil War Memory Library, 08/16

Vast Southern EmpireEarl J. Hess, Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Matthew Karp, This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Williamson Murray and Wayne Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Johnnie P. Pearson ed., Lee and Jackson’s Bloody Twelfth: The Letters of Irby Goodwin Scott, First Lieutenant, Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry (University of Tennessee Press, 2012).

Ben Winters, Underground Airlines (Mulholland Press, 2016).


Vanderbilt to Remove “Confederate” Inscription

The announcement came earlier today that Vanderbilt University’s Confederate Memorial Hall will be re-named.

Click here for the history of this particular campus building.


When Civil War Reenactors Legitimize Racism


Last week I shared a segment of Vice Does America that focused on the interaction between a young black man and a Confederate reenactor in Jacksonville, Alabama. The reenactor questioned Wilbert Cooper as to why he chose not to suit up and join a Confederate unit based on his belief that blacks fought in integrated Confederate regiments. [click to continue…]


“75,000 Confederates of Color?” on a Billboard

black confederate billboard

This is one of two billboards sponsored by the Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that have recently been placed along Missouri highways, one near Kansas City and the other outside of St. Louis. There is something desperate about placing such an advertisement on a large billboard, but it does serve as a wonderful example of how far the SCV is willing to go to defend their preferred narrative of the past and remain relevant.

I love that the claim of “75,000 Confederates of Color” is followed by a question mark.

Answer: NO


‘A Way of Life Built on Black Bodies’

black confederate

The most recent episode of Vice Does America takes viewers to Pointe-aux-Chenes, Louisiana, to meet with Choctaw Native Americans and Jacksonville, Alabama for a Civil War reenactment. The reenactment is well worth watching. It’s begins innocently enough with Abdullah Saeed, Wilbert L. Cooper, and Martina de Alba taking sides and suiting up in their respective uniforms, but things take a sudden turn once Cooper is approached by a Confederate reenactor. [Begin at the 16 minute mark and watch til the end.]

Cooper is asked by the reenactor why he chose the Union group instead of the Confederate, which he claims was integrated and clearly implying that black men fought in the ranks. Cooper’s response directly challenges the underpinnings of the black Confederate narrative. If you want to know what the black Confederate narrative is really about, give it a listen.

It is definitely worth your time.