How Does *Searching For Black Confederates* End?

This morning I started writing with the intention of finishing a rough draft of the final chapter of my black Confederates book. The big question that I still needed to nail down was where exactly to end it. By mid-morning I had my answer.

News out of South Carolina revealed that two Republican state legislators proposed that a monument to African Americans who fought as soldiers for the Confederacy should be erected on the State House grounds in Columbia. It should come as no surprise that both men voted against the removal of the Confederate battle flag in 2015 and that they fully embrace the Lost Cause narrative of the war. Later in the day I did an interview with Newsweek about this story. [click to continue…]

John Oliver Takes on Confederate Monuments

Last night John Oliver devoted twenty minutes to addressing the ongoing controversy surrounding Confederate monuments. There isn’t much that is new here, but there are a few funny moments so if you have some time definitely check it out.

One thing is clear and that is that Confederate monuments are easy fodder for late night hosts like Oliver.

[Uploaded to YouTube, October 8, 2017]

Antietam, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Las Vegas

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 comparisons were routinely made with the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Such  comparisons were made to place the scale of human loss in perspective as well as the surprise-nature of the attack itself. Both were acts of war. One of the victims on 2001 was my cousin, Alisha Levin. [click to continue…]

Ty Seidule Takes on Lee and the Lost Cause

Many of you will remember the short video that West Point Professor of History Ty Seidule did on the cause of the Civil War. It went viral and catapulted the professor to Internet sensation. The video’s popularity did not stem simply from Professor Seidule’s identification of slavery at the central cause of the war. It had more to do with his association with West Point and the military that caught some people off guard. Professor Seidule’s interpretation could not be dismissed as just another liberal/revisionist academic rant. [click to continue…]

Can We Commemorate R.E. Lee Apart From the Confederacy?

Last night I was invited to join Brown Advisory at the Spangler Farm on the Gettysburg battlefield to talk about the Confederate monument debate. We started out with a quick tour of a couple of key sites on the battlefield followed by dinner and conversation. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening. Great food and even better questions from the audience. I applaud Brown for their interest in engaging their employees about some of the most pressing issues of the day. [click to continue…]

Keynote Address at NCHE 2018

Last year I joined the board of directors of the National Council for History Education. My first exposure to the organization and its members was the annual meeting that took place in Atlanta, Georgia. It has been a couple of years since I last attended an academic conference, but this one was right up my alley. NCHE brings together serious historians, public historians, and educators from all different levels and backgrounds. The emphasis, not surprisingly, is on education. The conference is free of the stuffiness and posturing that you find at many academic gatherings. [click to continue…]