Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Sep 20
“Yet history as lived is always a layered proposition, far richer and more human than the myth that sometimes goes in its guise.”–@Adita_Ferrer, CUBA: AN AMERICAN HISTORY (p. 39)
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Sep 20
New blog post: Remembering and Forgetting on Richmond’s Monument Avenue #CivilWarMemory https://cwmemory.com/2021/09/20/remembering-and-forgetting-on-richmonds-monument-avenue/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Sep 17
“Popular fixations with history often reflect popular anxieties about the future. If history is a search for distant truths, then it is also an attempt to regulate the judgments of coming generations.”–Craig Steven Wilder [EBONY & IVY (p. 284)]
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Sep 16
“If we take off our blinders, it’s no surprise that people coming to this history of racism, slavery and Jim Crow the first time are moved, troubled, even confused.”–@marthasjones https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/arts/historian-martha-s-jones-book-deal.html?referringSource=articleShare
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Sep 05
On John Hennessy’s Retirement From the National Park Service @FredSpotNPS @NatlParkService https://cwmemory.com/2021/09/05/on-john-hennessys-retirement-from-the-national-park-service/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 23
Stone Mountain Memorial Association removes carving of Confederate leaders from its logo https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/stone-mountain-memorial-association-removes-carving-from-its-logo/2DEBZPOBSJGN5IVX3TWXSYKBF4/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 09
Here is a thorough review of @DrKarenLCox’s excellent book on the history and current controversy surrounding Confederate monuments. https://newrepublic.com/article/163191/fate-confederate-monuments-clear-book-review
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 07
Not too long ago the opinions of the UDC and SCV held some weight when it came to Confederate memory and commemoration in public spaces. Thankfully, those days are over. https://www.wect.com/2021/08/06/tension-grows-within-united-daughters-confederacy-confederate-statue-ownership/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 07
If there are echoes of the Lost Cause in the Jan. 6 insurrection simply because some people are trying to re-write it, then just about every historical event applies. At some point these comparisons with the Lost Cause fail to offer any meaningful insight. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/06/we-cant-let-terrorists-rewrite-history-jan-6/?tid=ss_tw
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 06
The 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks is one month away and I fear this commemoration is going to be more political than in years past. As the family member of a victim this is disappointing, but as a historian of memory, I understand that it is inevitable.
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
It is an opportunity to demonstrate what it is that we do and why the teaching of history, in all of its complexity and nuance, is so important. Thank you for everything that you’ve done for your students over the past year and will do in the coming school year.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
The legislators responsible for these laws are not interested in history education. Many of them would no doubt benefit from taking your course. These laws are so vague it’s impossible to know when you’ve run afoul, but this is also an opportunity.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
Your lesson plans and class discussions will inevitably end up around your students’ kitchen tables. It will be discussed and likely misinterpreted. This is where your subject knowledge, clarity of pedagogical goals, and adherence to your state standards will be critical.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
It goes without saying that you need to understand the history that you plan on teaching. You need to be able to explain why it is important and how it connects with your state standards. In this highly politicized environment, remember that your audience includes parents.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
Meet regularly with your colleagues to review lesson plans and other goals related to the teaching of this history. Considering other perspectives will help to clarify your goals and the means by which you plan to engage your students.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
Keep the lines of communication open with your department chair and other administrators. Hopefully, your department is already talking about some of the challenges associated with teaching the history of slavery and race this year.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
It’s hard to do your job effectively when your own state government views you as the enemy, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you have a successful and productive year. Remember that you are the expert. Have confidence in your knowledge and pedagogical skills.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 05
A little thread for my colleagues in the history education profession, who are heading back into the classroom in states that have passed laws attempting to ban and/or regulate the teaching of history. First and foremost, I am sorry that you have to deal with this nonsense.
Show thread → A Little Advice For My Fellow History Educators
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 03
“To date there had been no other formal recognition, not a plaque or a memorial, noting that hundreds of enslaved people helped build and later maintain and staff the White House.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/slave-labor-white-house-lafayette-square/2021/07/28/c64a8f9c-efd6-11eb-bf80-e3877d9c5f06_story.html?fbclid=IwAR3I2E2zGwHx-5NrOgP2_IWPCKQjFR5DHQ9otBQ9LaZ1froO94eFBU5vy-U
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 03
Many of the same legislators who have worked over the past few years to pass laws defending Confederate monuments in the name of preserving history, now pass laws that are intended to erase and/or distort it. It’s a hell of a thing. #historyteacher
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 03
I love the fact that I didn’t have to log on to Twitter to post this tweet. I now spend much less time doom scrolling and wasting time in this cesspool. https://cwmemory.com/omnitweet/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 03
“Felix Hall was 18 years old when he left home…to join other young men preparing to serve in World War II. But instead of fighting in the Pacific…the Army private was abducted, bound at the hands and ankles, and lynched in a wooded ravine.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/felix-hall-lynching-fort-benning/2021/08/01/df00eab6-e7ef-11eb-ba5d-55d3b5ffcaf1_story.html
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 02
It’s unfortunate that Mississippi governor @tatereeves chose to bring this rhetoric to a county that witnessed the murder of James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner and that has worked hard in recent years to face its past. https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2021/08/02/critical-race-theory-mississippi-gov-tate-reeves-speaker-philip-gunn-gop/5445683001/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 02
“[I]n the end the greatest honor we can pay our ancestors isn’t flowers left beside a headstone or monuments erected in a public square. It’s communities that are stronger — kinder, more inclusive and more resilient — than the ones our forebears left us.” https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/opinion/South-slavery-Confederacy-curriculum.html
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 01
How do I write that Robert Gould Shaw was a spoiled little brat? 🤣 #RGShaw
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Aug 01
This speaks to the possibilities and limitations of trying to contextualize a Confederate statue. https://roanoke.com/news/local/truth-telling-exhibit-planned-for-christiansburg-town-square/article_c29b3a30-f07c-11eb-812d-9fd8bb1f9a2f.html
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 31
New to the Civil War Memory Library, 07/31 https://cwmemory.com/2021/07/31/new-to-the-civil-war-memory-library-08-31/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 28
“It’s about the moment we began to reject the cruelty and white supremacy of once-revered men. And about what comes next, what’s worth preserving, and why.”–@melissalyttle https://indyweek.com/news/northcarolina/north-carolina-national-fallen-confederate-monuments/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 27
I was really looking forward to this @PBS series on the history of the Confederate flag, but I have a serious problem with giving equal time to neo-Confederates and academic historians in describing the history of Reconstruction. https://www.pbs.org/video/episode-1-fgeicm/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 24
Reading Elizabeth G. McRae’s MOTHERS OF MASSIVE RESISTANCE is having the same impact on my understanding of the role of women in maintaining Jim Crow as reading Thavolia Glymph and @sejr_historian had on my understanding of the role of elite white women in maintaining slavery.
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Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
I don’t know whether the Tennessee State Museum is up to the challenge or whether they will be allowed to do their work w/o interference. Even with the removal of the Forrest bust state leaders have demonstrated more than once that they have no interest in facing this history.
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
Most importantly, any interpretation will need to acknowledge that African Americans protested the dedication of the Forrest bust from the very beginning through organizations such as Black Tennesseans for Action. In 1979 the bust was damaged by protesters.
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
The post civil rights era (1970s) in Tennessee. The motivations of TN state Senator and Sons of Confederate Veterans member Douglas Henry (Dem-Nashville) and Lanier Merrit, who headed up this project. The involvement of the SCV in fundraising activities.
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
In the case of the Forrest bust, however, it is not the Jim Crow era that is relevant, but the post civil rights era of the 1970s. The resolution for installing the bust passed in 1973 and it was dedicated on November 5, 1978. The relevant context here is the following:
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
It is this context that frames the vast majority of Confederate monuments that have been removed in recent years. Yes, an interpretation of Forrest’s history will need to address his role as a slave trader, Confederate general responsible (Fort Pillow Massacre), and Klan leader.
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 23
I have no idea how the bust of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest will be interpreted once it is relocated later today to the Tennessee State Museum. What I do know is that any interpretation will need to look beyond the Jim Crow era.
Show thread → Interpreting the Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
I am not writing a biography of Col. Robert Gould Shaw as much as I am using Shaw to explore broader topics/themes from the Civil War era. #RGShaw
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Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
To argue that the removal of a bust/statue from a public space that honors someone like Nathan Bedford Forrest is nothing more than a superficial gesture has failed to fully appreciate the role that Confederate statues have long played in legitimizing legalized segregation.
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Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
We can certainly have a debate about whether individual monuments/statues should be removed, but Forrest is not the ‘Southern symbol’ or ‘American hero’ that you want to get behind, but perhaps for McNally it is.
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Show thread → Lt. Gov. McNally Defends Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
The only question that matters and one that the Lt. Gov. is unwilling to address is whether a slave trader, Confederate general, and Klan leader deserves to be honored inside the State Capitol–a place that is supposed to represent all of the state’s citizens.
Show thread → Lt. Gov. McNally Defends Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
All of his so-called concerns about context and interpretation can be addressed in the state museum, which is where the Forrest bust will be relocated. This is entirely appropriate. Context can never be implemented inside the Capitol Building for any number of reasons.
Show thread → Lt. Gov. McNally Defends Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
Not everyone is pleased. @ltgovmcnally has decided to fight the culture wars alongside Nathan Bedford Forrest. His statement is beyond ridiculous. The question is not whether the history of Forrest should be studied, but whether he should be honored inside the State Capitol.
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Show thread → Lt. Gov. McNally Defends Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
Earlier today the Tennessee State Building Commission just voted to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the State Capitol. There is very little reason to applaud this decision given its timing and the responses from elected leaders. https://tennesseelookout.com/2021/07/22/years-in-the-making-forrest-busting-out-of-state-capitol/
Show thread → Lt. Gov. McNally Defends Nathan Bedford Forrest
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
“The past few years have shown us that to remain purposefully ignorant of history is dangerous for democracy. If we move to erase uncomfortable pasts then we remain tethered to fictions.”–@gabrielasotolav https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/07/22/every-american-needs-take-history-mexico-class/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
“Acknowledging fault and complexity in American history is perhaps the most patriotic way to express the United States’ relationship with its past and present….The goal of history is not to engender jingoistic patriotism” https://harvardpolitics.com/battle-for-historical-memory/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
“In attacking the things they’ve labeled as critical race theory, Republicans are seeking to erase the entire contemporary genre of abolitionist oratory.” https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/07/critical-race-theory-slave-abolition-school-literature/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
New Blog Post: Is It a Tweet or Blog Post?” https://cwmemory.com/2021/07/22/is-it-a-tweet-or-blog-post/
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
“Americans’ debt to the Haitian people may never be repaid. But if we are supposed to be able to learn from history, we should be obliged, in true good faith, to try.”–@agordonreed https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/opinion/haiti-us-history.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
Right now the functionality is limited. I can tweet images, but not gifs, videos, etc. I also can’t retweet, but all of this will change as the technology develops. It is enough that I can retain ownership of my content and easily access it in the future.
Show thread → Introducing Omnitweet
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
Twitter has put me in touch with a large audience, but I regret neglecting my personal website/blog in recent years. This will make it much easier to keep my site updated and bring new readers to the site.
Show thread → Introducing Omnitweet