A Black Confederate Flashback

Yesterday I spent some time working on the section of my black Confederate book that deals with the 2010 Virginia textbook controversy involving author Joy Masoff. I am sure most of you remember.

While doing a search for additional information about the scope of the news coverage following the publication of the initial Washington Post article I came across this local news interview with Civil War historian James I. Robertson. It’s a real gem and one that I’ve never seen. Robertson’s initial response is priceless: “I don’t even want to know his name.”

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Catharsis and the Historical Imagination in Selma, Alabama

Student Group at Slavery and Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama (not my school)

Student Group at Slavery and Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama (not my school)

One of the highlights of my recent school trip through the Civil Rights South was walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the first time in Selma, Alabama. The bridge is one of the most iconic images of the struggle and the film of the marchers being assaulted by police on “Bloody Sunday” moves me every time. [click to continue…]

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Lingering “Baggage” at Jackson’s Greyhound Bus Station

Jackson Greyhound Station

Old Greyhound Bus Station in Jackson, Mississippi

During our time in Jackson, Mississippi we made a quick stop at the Greyhound Bus Station, which served as the destination for the Freedom Riders in 1961. Many of the participants were arrested and jailed at the notorious Parchman Prison. The city boasts a modern bus station, but in 1988 the old facility was renovated by Renovation Architect, Robert Parker Adams. The building now serves as his firm’s office. Mr. Adams graciously welcomed our group and personally led us through the building. His tour focused mainly on the steps taken to preserve the facility and create an efficient work space. It’s quite impressive. [click to continue…]

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Grant and Lee Risk Their Reputations

Fellow blogger and historian Keith Harris passed along this gem last week. This 1970s faux game show was created by Bernard Wilets and pits Grant against Lee as they debate the central issues of the war and their roles in it. It is well worth watching.

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Who Is Teaching Civil Rights History in the South?

I guess it’s something I noticed after having spent so much time at Civil War sites, but my recent trip has left me with the impression that the vast majority of tour guides and educators working at historic sites related to the civil rights movement in the South are African-American women. It is ironic given that apart from a few high profile individuals such as Rosa Parks, the many roles that women played throughout the movement have been minimized if not forgotten.

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