Evaluating Black Confederate Websites: Petersburg Express

This post is the first in a short series of videos that will focus on some of the more popular black Confederate websites.  I decided to do this as a follow-up to my recent New York Times editorial in which I discuss the importance of properly assessing information gathered Online.  We begin with the Petersburg Express, which in my opinion is the best example of many of the problems that you will find on these sites.  This is a beginner’s guide, but I hope that it is helpful to those people who are struggling with some of the basic questions of media literacy.  Unfortunately, I had to rush a bit at the end.  Here is the link to Whois, which you can use to find information about the source of the website.

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9 comments… add one
  • Kirsten Schultz Feb 4, 2011 @ 12:31

    I am trying to understand why “Imagine” was selected as the theme song. Did the creator(s) of this page feel that this song is a symbol of progressive thought, or liberalism (however they understand those terms) and therefore would increase the credibility of the written and visual elements s/he presented? Or perhaps they felt there was some connection between the lyrics and the messages this page is trying to communicate? Perhaps they latched onto the “brotherhood of man” and ignored other words, such as: “Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too/Imagine all the people/Living life in peace”.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 4, 2011 @ 12:31

      Your guess is as good as mine. 🙂

      • Will Stoutamire Feb 4, 2011 @ 13:46

        Just throwing it out there, but I’m guessing the creator felt that the “existence” of “black Confederates” somehow makes the Confederacy more egalitarian than the Union army… the common shtick being that USCT units were segregated and CSA units were not – or something to that effect. Or the narrative that the “loyal slaves” loved their masters and willingly fought alongside them, rather than the focus on racism and forced servitude that any credible historian would counter with…

        I don’t know, honestly. Just thought I’d try to make sense of it.

        • Kevin Levin Feb 4, 2011 @ 14:23

          That sounds about as good as anything I can up with. 🙂

  • Bill Gwaltney Feb 2, 2011 @ 9:12

    96th Annual ASALH Conference ­ Richmond, VA ­ October 5 – 9, 2010
    Call for Papers

    The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is soliciting papers and panels for its upcoming 96th Annual Convention. This year’s conference theme is: “African Americans and the U.S. Civil War.” Although the program committee welcomes papers and panels on any aspect of African and African American history and culture, special preference will be given to submissions directly related to this year’s theme.

    Using a wide variety of disciplines, this year’s conference seeks to explore many aspects of African American involvement in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Important topics include African Americans and the abolitionist movement, African American women and life on the homefront during the war years, African American participation in the military, and African American life and politics during the Reconstruction Era, 1865-1877. In addition, recent popular and scholarly debates over causes of the Civil War will be explored.

    In 1861 as the United States stood at the brink of civil war, people of African descent, both slave and free, waited with a watchful eye. They understood that a war between the Union military and the Confederacy might bring about the “day of jubilee” and the destruction of slavery. When the Confederate troops fired upon Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861 and hostilities began, President Abraham Lincoln maintained that the paramount cause was to preserve the Union, not to end the practice of slavery. Frederick Douglass, the most prominent African American leader, declared that regardless of Union intentions, the war would bring an end to the South’s “peculiar institution.”

    Over the next four years, the four million people of African descent in the United States sought to prove Frederick Douglass right. Free and enslaved African Americans rallied around the Union flag and the cause of freedom. From the cotton and tobacco fields of the South to the small towns and big cities of the North, nearly 200,000 black men joined the Grand Army of the Republic and took up arms to destroy slavery and the Confederacy. The ASALH convention theme for 2011 honors the role of people of African descent in ending slavery and preserving the Union.

    Given the recent political and academic debates about the legacy of the Civil War, papers and panels offering interdisciplinary analyses and perspectives of the continuing legacy of the Civil War in American and African American life are particularly welcome.
    The deadline for the submission of panel and paper proposals is 30 April 2011.

    All proposals must be submitted electronically to ASALH through the All Academic online system at http://www.asalh.org/callforpapers.html .

    Proposals should include title of the paper or panel, author(s) and affiliation(s), an abstract of paper or panel of 200-250 words, and all contact information. Only panel proposal submitters will receive complimentary audio/visual equipment on a first come first serve basis.

    For information on how to make electronic submissions, please visit http://www.asalh.org/96thconvention.html and visit the FAQ page at http://www.asalh.org/files/FAQs_sheet.doc for important information regarding submissions.

    Derrick P. Alridge
    Academic Program Chair

  • Woodrowfan Jan 27, 2011 @ 17:28

    pretty good. I wish you had noted that Bearss’ quote is inaccurate. Wasn’t it taken out of context? or was it simply made up??

  • Dan Wright Jan 27, 2011 @ 16:57

    Is it common for these Black Confederate sites to claim a massive cover-up?
    The tone seems to be one of finally bringing the truth to light, after all these years.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 27, 2011 @ 17:02

      Absolutely. You will see a few examples of this in future videos.

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