Has the Face of Confederate Heritage Changed in the Past 50 Years?

The most common image of Americans asserting their pride in Confederate heritage over the past few weeks has been a parade of pick-up trucks decked out in flags. Some of these groups appear to have intentionally chosen routes through predominantly African American neighborhoods. We are told that these gatherings have nothing to do with race: Heritage, Not Hate.

Ocala, Florida
Ocala, Florida

and

Petersburg, Virginia
Petersburg, Virginia

We’ve been here before. The vehicles have changed, but not much else. Continue reading “Has the Face of Confederate Heritage Changed in the Past 50 Years?”

Calling All Public Historians

Yesterday’s post about my good friend John Hennessy left me wondering what, if anything, has taken place or is being planned in museums, historical societies and other institutions to help their communities make sense of the relevant history behind our ongoing and very emotional discussion about Civil War memory.

It’s an opportune moment for public historians, who focus on the Civil War Era and the history of race relations. Folks who have never thought about the American Civil War are giving it a good deal of thought. No doubt, some of that reflection is based on bad history. Continue reading “Calling All Public Historians”

Leave It To Southerners To Decide If It’s Dixie’s Fault

It’s a lost cause to try to keep up with all of the thought provoking essays and editorials published over the past few weeks surrounding the national discussion about the history and legacy of the Confederacy. Last week The Washington Post published the thoughts of Thomas Sugrue, who is one of the most respected historians on the history of race, urban America and the civil rights movement in the North. I highly recommend Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North. Continue reading “Leave It To Southerners To Decide If It’s Dixie’s Fault”

When a Monument To John C. Calhoun Was Torn Down

Calls to take down the Confederate flag battle flag have quickly extended to monuments to the Confederacy, most of which dot local court houses, parks, and other public spaces. Many have been vandalized with the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter”. The only city that has moved to take down a Confederate monument is Birmingham, Alabama, which did so last night. Other cities, including Baltimore, Memphis, and St. Louis will take up the issue in the coming days and weeks.

My position has remained consistent on the removal of Confederate monuments. Others like Karen Cox, Ethan Kytle and Blain Roberts have staked out their positions, which are well worth reading. Although I tend to resist removal I do not believe that monuments are timeless. Certainly, few Americans take issue with the symbolic gesture surrounding the pulling down of a statue to King George III at the very birth of our Revolution. No collective act more powerfully signaled a break with the past in 1776 short of war? Continue reading “When a Monument To John C. Calhoun Was Torn Down”

Confederate Flag Fun

It’s been a pretty serious week with a good deal of reflection concerning important issues related to Civil War memory. I thought it was time for a little diversion. First up, a dating service where you can find your very own Confederate Connection.

Next, the Confederacy’s return meets its end at a Georgia intersection.

Enjoy.