Earlier this month the popular streaming service Netflix added the Hollywood movie, Glory, to its catalog. Released in 1989, Glory is still in my mind the best Civil War movie ever made.
To mark its re-release I shared some thoughts about the intersection of fact and fiction in an essay published by Smithsonian Magazine. I also briefly reflected on the movie’s significance on the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments:
Altogether, these [Confederate] monuments ignored the steps that African Americans took to undermine the Confederacy by fighting against it and as a result denied that they had any interest in attaining their freedom. This denial helped to reinforce the Jim Crow culture of white supremacy that prevented black Americans from voting and the ability to take part in any public discussion about how to commemorate the past in public spaces.
Glory still offers a powerful reminder of the stakes of the Civil War for communities across the country debating whether to remove their Confederate monuments. The decisions made will go far in determining whether ‘Black Lives Matter’ today and in history.
This coming Sunday evening you can watch the movie with other Civil War enthusiasts as part of the popular “Historians at the Movies” series on Twitter.