“I Am Silas”

Looks like the story of Andrew and Silas Chandler is now the subject of a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, which appears in the collection, Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration: Poems and Photographs, Past and Present. There is something satisfying about the story of Silas making it into such a collection and some of the stanzas are quite beautiful, but it is unfortunate that Komunyakaa makes so many mistakes. More to the point we are presented with the story of Silas as the loyal slave whose world is defined by service to Andrew and the Confederate cause. Continue reading ““I Am Silas””

A Black Confederate Flashback

Yesterday I spent some time working on the section of my black Confederate book that deals with the 2010 Virginia textbook controversy involving author Joy Masoff. I am sure most of you remember.

While doing a search for additional information about the scope of the news coverage following the publication of the initial Washington Post article I came across this local news interview with Civil War historian James I. Robertson. It’s a real gem and one that I’ve never seen. Robertson’s initial response is priceless: “I don’t even want to know his name.”

Black Confederate Kickstarter Campaign Needs Your Help

black confederate kickstarterLast month I shared an unusual Kickstarter campaign seeking funds for a children’s book about black Confederates. The campaign has until the end of this month to raise $3,000 dollars. Unfortunately, as of today only one pledge has been made for $15. This is pathetic. Continue reading “Black Confederate Kickstarter Campaign Needs Your Help”

From Blog to Book

Update: Within thirty minutes of posting I was contacted by the editor of a major university press: “Let’s talk.” I take this as a positive sign. Stay tuned.

The other day I outlined the final chapter of my book on Confederate body servants and the myth of the black Confederate soldier. The chapter focuses specifically on the rise and spread of this narrative leading to and especially through the sesquicentennial years. It’s by far the most interesting chapter and will likely be a good deal of fun to write. As you might imagine the chapter borrows heavily from this blog, which over the years has offered the most sustained critique of this myth that you will find anywhere on the Internet. Continue reading “From Blog to Book”

Kickstarting the Myth of the Black Confederate Soldier

I am going to assume that this is the first Kickstarter campaign related to the myth of the black Confederate soldier. The project is the work of an African American man who lives in New York state. You will find a number of different threads from the Lost Cause narrative, but the inspiration for the project itself stems “came from a statement made by Malcolm X about the field and house slave.”

The project reminds me a bit of Ann DeWitt’s children’s book, Entangled in Freedom.

I came across this project while perusing one of the Southern/Confederate heritage webpages and although there are some enthusiastic responses, as of today no one has opened up their wallets. We shall see.