Category Archives: Teaching

The Only Way Ann DeWitt Knows How To Respond

Ann DeWitt's Black Confederate Website

Imagine my surprise today when I opened my email to find a notification from YouTube that my video screencast/critique of Ann DeWitt’s Black Confederate website had been removed owing to copyright infringements.  The copyright infringement was instigated by Ms. DeWitt herself:

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Ann DeWitt claiming that this material is infringing:

Examining Black Confederate Websites: #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxor1UY_tT8

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.  If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Center.  Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was disabled due to mistake or misidentification may be liable for damages.

Sincerely,

— The YouTube Team

You may remember that I recently uploaded two screencasts in which I critiqued some of the more popular black Confederate websites.  I’ve noticed that Ms. DeWitt’s postings at the Southern Heritage Preservation page are no longer public.  No doubt, her recent discovery of a regiment of black Confederate cooks led to this decision.  For someone who claims to have built an educational site she certainly has little patience with formal critiques that point out shortcomings and outright distortions in her own “research.”  Is this how an educator responds?  Not to worry as I still plan on using her website as part of my teacher workshop presentations on digital media literacy.

Now who is trying to suppress open discussion?

 

 

Virginia Historical Society Interprets the Civil War’s Aftermath

If I were heading back into the classroom to teach my course on the Civil War and historical memory I would begin by showing this video from the Virginia Historical Society’s exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia.  If you haven’t seen it you are missing one of the more innovative exhibits to emerge early on for the Civil War 150th.  The choice of Jimi Hendrix’s interpretation of the “Star Spangled Banner” is the perfect accompaniment for this collage of images that covers both the short- and long-term consequences of the Civil War.

Teachers can use this video to explore how images, text, and music come together to form a historical narrative.  Encourage students to critique the video by pointing out strengths and weaknesses.  Which images are out of place or missing?  What other musical choices could be utilized as well as choice of text?

What do you think of this video?

 

footnote.com becomes fold3.com

I’ve used footnote.com on just about every research project as well as in the classroom, where it has helped to expand the scope of primary sources that I can introduce to my students.  Recently the company decided on a name change, which you can read about here.  This is a product that I believe in and I am proud to have fold3 as a sponsor of Civil War Memory.  Check it out.

 

My Debut as a Talking Head

In the spring of 2010 I was interviewed by Ken Wyatt for a documentary titled “Colored Confederates.”  He filmed for about two hours and we talked about a number of issues related to what I have suggested is one of the most misunderstood topics in Civil War history.  Well, it looks like the documentary is close to completion and today I came across the trailer.  There is a short snippet of me about half way through that comes after one of H.K. Edgerton’s impassioned speeches.  Wyatt also interviewed Nelson Winbush, Bruce Levine, Gerald Prokopowicz, Earl Ijames, and Ervin Jordan.  There is a Facebook page for the film that also includes a few shots of me and Ken.  I will keep you updated as we get closer to a release date.

You can also listen to a short interview with Ervin Jordan.

 

Scratch Off Another Black Confederate

Update: Thanks to Andy Hall for sending along the link to the LOC page that includes a reference to David Lowe’s and Philip Shiman’s essay, “Substitute for a Corpse,” Civil War Times, Dec. 2010, p. 41.

One of the websites that I use in my teacher workshops on digital media literacy is a page from the Petersburg Express website, which is maintained by Ashleigh Moody.  It makes for an ideal case study of why teachers and students need to be educated about how to access and assess online information.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will notice one of the best known photographs from the trenches of Petersburg.  It’s a photograph of a dead Confederate soldier, perhaps a member of an artillery unit.  There are at least two photographs of the body and one of them includes an additional body.  Moody refers to it as, “Black and White Confederate Soldiers.”

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