This has been a fascinating couple of weeks in the world of Civil War memory. After removing the Liberty Place monument on April 24 the city of New Orleans removed three additional monuments to Jefferson Davis (May 11) and P.G.T. Beauregard (May 16-17). Yesterday Robert E. Lee was removed from high atop his perch in full daylight. [click to continue…]
Update: An extended version of this post is now available at Smithsonian Magazine.
A number of things happened today that has me thinking about Richmond, Virginia and the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments.
First, I had a conversation with a reporter from The Richmond Times-Dispatch about this debate. We talked about a number of things before we got around to the question of whether Richmond will follow other cities in deciding to remove monuments to the Confederacy and Confederate leaders. I suggested that it is unlikely. [click to continue…]
Yesterday a group of protesters gathered in my old home of Charlottesvile, Virginia to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument. The group was led by Richard Spencer, who popularized the term, “alt-right.”
Last night Spencer led a relatively small group in a torchlight ceremony that reminded many people of similar ceremonies held by the Nazi party in the the 1930s. [click to continue…]
I’ve said before that the handful of Facebook pages devoted to pushing the myth of the black Confederate soldier has been an incredible source for primary sources from newspaper articles to images, including the one featured in this post. Of course, the problem is with how administrators and members of these pages interpret these sources. [click to continue…]
Over night Jefferson Davis died a second death as crews removed his monument in New Orleans [see video here]. The monument honored the president of a nation whose primary goal was the protection and expansion of slavery. That leaves two monuments, one honoring Robert E. Lee and the other P.G.T. Beauregard. [click to continue…]
What was likely the final legal challenge to the removal of the P.G.T. Beuaregard monument in New Orleans ended today with a judge denying a temporary injunction. The three remaining monuments will likely come down within the next few weeks. I suspect that this will happen sooner than later given the potential for violence. [click to continue…]
A quick reminder to let you know that you can now pre-order both Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder [July 2017] in paperback and Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites [September 2017] direct from the publisher at a 30% discount. For the first book, use the code [FS30] at checkout and for the latter use [RLFANDF30].
Carole Emberton and Bruce E. Baker eds., Remembering Reconstruction: Struggles Over the Meanings of America’s Most Turbulent Era (Louisiana State University Press, 2017).
Leigh Fought, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (Oxford University Press, 2017).
David Goldfield, Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History (Louisiana State University Press [updated edition, 2012]).
Tera W. Hunter, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Harvard University Press, 2017).
James A. Percoco, Take the Journey: Teaching American History Through Place-Based Learning (Stenhouse Publishers, 2017).
Thomas J. Ward, Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and its War on Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2016).
No one has thought harder and more creatively about the craft of teaching history than James Percoco. He has been my teacher over the past fifteen years through a steady stream of publications that bring his teaching philosophy and classroom activities to the rest of us. I have used his books and other classroom resources to expand my own teaching repertoire, but his work has also helped me to think about what it means to teach this subject and why it is so important that we do so.
Jim’s area of expertise is in the area of Place-Based learning. He has made it his primary goal to connect students to historic sites through class trips and internships at museums and other institutions. His course is essentially an introduction to pubic history and this is all happening on the high school level. [click to continue…]