Looking Beyond the Removal of Confederate Monuments

Earlier this week the Southern Poverty Law Center released an updated version of its 2016 report on Confederate symbols titled, Whose Heritage? The report and accompanying data is well worth reading. Make sure to download the data set, which includes a breakdown of Confederate symbols that have been removed over the past few years by state, county, and city. I was surprised by a number of their findings. [click to continue…]

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How Would You Caption This Photograph?

Back in September 2017 the city of San Antonio, Texas removed its Confederate monument in Travis Park. It now looks like city workers are removing its base to make room for a new monument or something else entirely. It’s a striking photograph that is open to multiple interpretations, depending on your particular stance. [click to continue…]

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Not All Acts of Confederate Monument Vandalism are Equal

This morning I learned that the Texas monument, located on the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia, was recently spray painted with some colorful language. It’s the latest in a long string of incidents that extends all the way back to the war itself. Plenty of people are outraged, including Chris Mackowski, who shared his thoughts about this latest incident at Emerging Civil War. [click to continue…]

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Confederate Veterans are Not U.S. Veterans

Update: Thanks to the commenter below who clarified that individuals are not “made” veterans. They are veterans owing to their service. In this case, service in the United States army.

It is absurd to think that Memorial Day is a day to honor Confederates who fell in battle along side the white and black Americans who gave their lives to defend and ultimately save this country between 1861 and 1865. Many today base this belief on a supposed step taken by Congress in 1958 that gave Confederate veterans equal status under law  to that of  U.S. veterans. They did not. [click to continue…]

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Why Former Slaves Can Claim the First Memorial Day

Every year since its publication in 2011 I share a piece written by historian David Blight that lifts the veil on what is very likely the first Decoration (Memorial) Day celebration. It’s a wonderful example of how history is lost and later remembered and why. [click to continue…]

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Confederate Monuments: What to Do?

Thanks to the Organization of American Historians for making this panel discussion from the 2018 annual meeting available. It is one of the best academic discussions that I have seen to date. What worked well in this discussion was the ways in which it went beyond the narrow subject of Confederate monuments to include other relevant issues. I particularly enjoyed listening to Professor Kuo Wei Tchen. [click to continue…]

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Confederate Monuments and the Threat of Black Education

Many of you will be pleased to hear that my proposal for a Confederate Monuments reader is now being reviewed by a very interested publisher. Along the way I decided to bring on Professor Hilary Green, who teaches at the University of Alabama, as a co-editor. The scope of the various sources is much richer because of her suggestions. We also decided to include an entire chapter that focuses specifically on the debate on college campuses. Stay tuned for future updates. [click to continue…]

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New to the Civil War Memory Library, 05/21

My reading has been all over the place of late. Some of it is related to a course on the history of disability in America that I will be teaching in the Fall as well as a trip to Norway and Sweden in June. I will have more to say about the class toward the end of the summer.

There are a number of excellent Civil War titles slated for publication over the next few months. [click to continue…]

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