Category Archives: Memory

Where Have You Gone, Bruce Catton?

Tomorrow my wife and I are going to head over to Cambridge to the Harvard Bookstore to hear a talk by David Blight.  I tend not to take my wife to hear Blight as she has what I would say is an unhealthy attraction to his voice.  Hopefully, she will be able to exercise sufficient self control.  Blight is going to talk about his new book, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, which explores the writings of Robert Penn Warren, Bruce Catton, Edmund Wilson, and James Baldwin.  Each of these writers struggled to come to terms with America’s collective memory of the Civil War during the civil rights era.  Like much of everything else Blight has written the book is well worth your time.

One of the things I find interesting is the lack of a prominent Civil War historian or literary figure, who occupies the same space as did Penn Warren, Catton, Wilson, and Baldwin.  In terms of historians of that era I would also include Allan Nevins and Douglass Southall Freeman, though he died in 1953.  Perhaps you disagree, but if so, I would be curious to know who you think fills those roles and speaks for our generation’s memory of the war.  If you agree with me, I would also like to hear why.

Three Videos

Dave Chappelle's "Time Haters" Skit: "Because shooting a slave master is just funny...no matter what color your skin."

It never ceases to amaze me of the extent to which readers get emotionally worked up about the videos I post on this site.  Here are three videos that I’ve posted in the past.  All of them led to heated discussion in the comments section here as well as on other sites.

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Who Are You and How Did You Get Into This Group?

The other day my friends at Facebook’s SHPG page got all worked up about a stupid video that I posted on Thursday.  Apparently, the members of this group have completely lost their ability to laugh in their zeal to stamp out the enemy that they see all around them.  Funny that they never speak out when I post videos about Abraham Lincoln that others have found problematic.  Oh well.  Lucas looks like he is right out of high school and I suspect he has little in common with the political and cultural baggage that the majority of these members carry around with them.  I anticipate that he won’t last long in this group.  Either Lucas will leave on his own or he will be forced out.  Good luck, dude.

Calling Out Edward Sebesta and Calling On James Loewen

Museum of the Confederacy's Fish

Update: James Loewen responds…well…sort of.

Since Edward Sebesta recently came up in a previous post I decided to check out his blog earlier today.  Some of you may remember that not too long ago Sebesta publicly declared that he would not accept an award from the Museum of the Confederacy for his co-edited book with James Loewen, titled The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause”, which had been submitted by their publisher for the Jefferson Davis Award.  Why?  According to Sebesta, the MOC’s mission is to further the”Neo-Confederate” agenda.  By accepting their award Sebesta believes that he would be legitimizing the museum as a legitimate historical institution.  Yes, this is quite bizarre, but it gets even better.  At the time Sebesta promised that he would explain his stance in a more detailed essay, which is exactly what I came across at his blog today.  The post includes a link to a 4-part essay that was published at the Black Commentator. I am going to leave it to you to read through as I simply do not have the patience to do it.  It is an incredibly incoherent rant and as far as I can tell there is no indication that Sebesta has ever visited the MOC or talked with its museum staff.

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