“The Tough Stuff of American History and Memory”

Registration for the second “Signature Conference” sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission opened this week.  This year’s conference will take place at Norfolk State University on September 24, 2010 and will focus on the issues of race and slavery.  Norfolk State is an ideal place given its location.  It was one of those places where the war changed on the ground as scores of slaves made their way into Union lines.  Like last year the commission has assembled a dynamite team of scholars for the various panels.  They include, James O. Horton, who will chair the event, James McPherson, Ira Berlin, David Blight, Dwight Pitcaithley, among others.  Perhaps our friend Earl Ijames should attend to hear Bruce Levine discuss the myth of black Confederates.

This promises to be another entertaining and educational experience and I encourage all of you to register as soon as possible.  I have been asked to live blog the event, which I agreed to do. Given my experience last year I have a much better idea of how to go about it.  Hope to see you there.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

5 comments… add one
  • margaretdblough Mar 3, 2010 @ 0:20

    Kevin-I've already registered. I will be retired by then so my time is my own. That's a fabulous speakers's list. It's the best I've seen since the NPS conference on interpretation at Civil War sites which was an incredible experience.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 3, 2010 @ 0:27

      I agree and am very much looking forward to it. It will be nice to talk with you in person as well.

      • margaretdblough Mar 3, 2010 @ 1:33

        I'm looking forward to meeting you as well. I've already made my hotel reservation.

  • Larry Cebula Mar 2, 2010 @ 19:28

    The students in my public history course really enjoyed Horton's book, and this blog as a supplement. Too much public history is aimed at heritage celebration and the related activity of historical white washing. Slavery is the most obvious example of a painful and important part of our past that has to be dealt with delicately and must not be ignored. But it is hardly alone–we can learn from the interpretation of slavery lessons that are important when dealing with the historical legacies of Indian wars and Japanese removal and a hundred other uncomfortable topics.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 2, 2010 @ 19:39

      The Horton collection really does do a fabulous job of introducing and exploring the questions that public historians need to address. Glad to hear that the blog helped as well. I am going up to Shepherd University next week to talk with a class that has been reading my blog this semester.

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