Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · 12h
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
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
I wrote this thread on my personal website. Check it out. Click the link below and click on the “Show thread” link, which will then take you to a webpage for even easier reading. It functions as its own thread reader, which is super cool. https://cwmemory.com/thread-8/#tweet-11
Show thread → Introducing Omnitweet
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
This ends today. Moving forward I will be able to tweet directly from my personal website. This will have a number of benefits. First and foremost, I will retain ownership of my content. It will be much more easily accessible and longer threads will inhabit their own webpage.
Show thread → Introducing Omnitweet
Kevin M. Levin @kevinlevin · Jul 22
There are a number of things about twitter that have long given me concern. The content/threads generated are not easily archived or accessible. The larger concern, however, is the fact that I do not own the content generated on this site. My content belongs to twitter.
Show thread → Introducing Omnitweet