Category Archives: Lost Cause

“We Won That War and Never Let Them Forget It”

In 2011 I took part in a panel on the myth of the black Confederate soldier with Emmanuel Dabney, Ervin Jordan, and Jaime Martinez at the annual meeting of the ASALH in Richmond. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but I did not attend the Carter G. Woodson luncheon featuring Daryl Michael Scott. The topic of his address – or should I say sermon – was the importance of remembering the service of black soldiers as “The Greatest Black Generation.” Continue reading

The Confederacy Freed the Slaves

Earlier today I posted Jon Stewart’s take down of FOX’s Andrew “The Hair” Napolitano who offered his own not-so-unique interpretation of Lincoln’s role in emancipation. Continuing with this line of absurd reasoning I give you The SHPG’s Valerie Protopapas, who I believe is a Northern gal. This is her take on the question of “Who freed the slaves?” Continue reading

Of License Plates, Nooses, Civil Rights Heroes and Confederate Flags

Georgia State Flag News FeedMy news feed has been monopolized over the past few days by two stories. The first surrounds a re-designed vanity plat sponsored by the Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that features a more prominent Confederate flag. The second is a more disturbing story out of Ole Miss. Authorities are are looking for and hoping to question two students and possibly a third in the connection with a noose and Georgia state flag that were draped over a statue of James Meredith earlier this week.

So, is there a connection between these two stories?

All three students are 19-year-old freshmen from Georgia, the school said. They were supposed to meet with the university police Thursday morning but did not show up, according to the school. On Thursday night, they declined through their attorneys to speak with university police without an arrest warrant.

Ole Miss said it could not release the names of the students unless charges are filed. In the statement, the university’s chief of police and general counsel said they believe there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against the suspects….

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity issued a statement Friday afternoon announcing that the three men were members of that organization’s Ole Miss chapter. The chapter voted to expel the three men, while the national fraternity said it had indefinitely suspended the Ole Miss chapter.

You decide.

A Hate Crime Against Confederate Descendants

Rally at Ole Miss in 1962

Rally against integration at Ole Miss in 1962

A couple of days ago an unfortunate incident occurred at the University of Mississippi. Apparently, two men placed a noose and a 2003 Georgia State flag on the James Meredith statue. Most of you know that the design of this particular version of the Georgia flag includes the popular Confederate battle emblem. While it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions about the perpetrators, most people see this as a hate crime directed specifically against the black student body and the broader African-American community.

At least one individual, however, has taken a more inclusive view as to who should rightfully be offended. No need to provide names or links this time.

It was a hate crime. A planned one perhaps, maybe almost certainly so, but a hate crime none-the-less. The crime was against those who saw it and were offended, and equally a hate crime against all Confederate descendants who honor that symbol and their ancestry. This act denigrated us all.

Here are students at Ole Miss protesting the presence of the Confederate flag on campus so as to allow James Meredith to register for classes. Yes, sometimes memory trumps history.

Are We Coming to the End of Civil War Memory?

When I learned that an essay on teaching would be included in the Common-place project I immediately thought of my friend, Chris Lese, who teaches history at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Chris and I met at an OAH conference a few years ago and have stayed in touch ever since. We’ve exchanged ideas and on a few occasions I joined his class discussion via Skype. Chris’s efforts to introduce his students to the subject of Civil War memory as well as his use of digital tools and social media sit at the forefront of classroom innovation and creativity.  Continue reading