Like many of you I was saddened and outraged to hear that the Shaw Memorial here in Boston had been vandalized. The alleged perpetrator is a 38 yr. old black woman from nearby Quincy. While she admitted to having an interpretive issue with the memorial, following her arraignment yesterday it was learned that she will [...]
Next week I head down to Charleston, South Carolina for the Civil War Trust’s annual teachers institute. This is my third year working with CWT and it’s always a rewarding experience. My talk is on the history of Civil War monuments and how they can be integrated into the classroom. As a preface to my [...]
One of the stumbling blocks that I continue to come up against in researching the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry is in reference to Governor John Andrew. The problem is especially acute given my interest in the pay crisis of 1863-64. Andrew played an important role as an advocate for these men, but I am only [...]
Head on over to the Atlantic for my most recent essay on the legacy of our Civil War’s African American soldiers and the movie, Glory. The essay brings together a couple of posts that I recently did on how I teach the movie and how I utilize the history of the pay crisis try to [...]
Let’s not get all worked up about George Lucas’s recent interview on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show over his comments about the the men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Lucas talked about the difficulties in securing Hollywood financing for his new film, Red Tails, owing to the film’s all-black cast. Lucas told Stewart: I [...]
Ta-Nahesi Coates has some interesting things to say about my Gingrich review at The Atlantic. This particular passage caught my eye: This pattern those sympathetic to the Confederacy acknowledging the sacrifice and honor of black soldiers is relatively new. Kevin’s right that it’s often tied into a hesitancy to see the Confederacy as it really was. But [...]
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s Youth Ambassador Program created a song and video about the 54th Regiment. This is pretty good.
Just wrapped up another productive week at the Massachusetts Historical Society with collections related to the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. There is something to researching real black Civil War soldiers as opposed to deconstructing silly claims about fictitious black Confederate soldiers. The MHS has an impressive collection of correspondence among the unit’s officers. In addition, [...]