The Committee Speaks

This is the first interview that I’ve seen featuring members of Washington & Lee’s “Committee,” which last year successfully petitioned their school’s administration to take down Confederate flags in Lee Chapel and to think carefully about the school’s connection to Confederate history and slavery.

I applaud these students for their commitment to making their campus a more hospitable place for African Americans and for other students who are concerned with questions about the place of the past in the present. One of the two students interviewed closed with the following: “I know that someone is going to feel more comfortable by what we did and that is enough.”

This video is part of a larger project on how we remember and commemorate the Civil War.

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!

1 comment… add one
  • Patrick Jennings Jun 10, 2015 @ 11:34

    Overall I found this an interesting video (I reference the shorter one shown here). While I agree with much of what they had to say I must admit that I was, well, bored by the selfishness of their quest. Around the four minute mark the conversation shifts from doing what is positive to assuaging one’s “feelings.” This leads me to the ridiculous concept in modern education of “trigger warnings.” That for one to learn (and learning is growing) one must never be uncomfortable.

    Remove the flags…yes. Make a solid argument, present the evidence and work toward the outcome you are seeking. But do it for the sake of an honest debate, a more reflective history, not because your feelings are hurt.

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