Frederick Douglass

Like many of you I have been thoroughly entertained by the new AI technology introduced by MyHeritage that brings motion to still photographs. Upload a still photograph and watch your subject come to life through ever so slight changes to its facial expression. I’ve seen people respond strongly to the sight of deceased family members Read more

I finally got around to watching The Daily Show’s recent segment on the Confederate monument debate. I particularly appreciate the suggestions from Trevor Noah and Roy Wood, Jr. on ways to add to public landscapes that include Confederate monuments rather than removing or relocating them. This first one has a good deal of promise. Yes Read more

Update #2: Check out my latest at The Daily Beast. Update: David Graham shares his thoughts about Trump’s confusing and disappointing observations about Black History Month. President Donald Trump kicked off Black History Month this morning with the following remarks: Well, the election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple the number or Read more

Some of you may know that David Blight is close to completing a biography of Frederick Douglass that is slated for publication late next year. This talk on Douglass at Harvard Law School took place the day after the presidential election. I think it is safe to say that Professor Blight was in a state Read more

“The Civil War” Does Broadway

This performance from the cast of Lawrence Clayton’s production, “The Civil War” was taken from the 1999 Tony Awards. The show was nominated Best Musical and Best Musical Score. Even the Confederates are singing freedom by the end of the tune. It’s infectious Read more

Just returned from a weekend in Lake Placed, New York where I took part in a conference sponsored by a small grassroots organization called John Brown Lives!  The conference brought together historians, teachers, students, and activists working to end modern day slave trafficking.  It was an incredibly enjoyable and intellectually stimulating weekend.  Many of you Read more

I can’t tell you how often I receive emails from folks who believe that my blog reflects a personal assault against the Confederacy and all things southern.  Yesterday I received the most bizarre email from a Frederick Douglass impersonator who took issue with my blog’s banner.  I should point out that the banner was part Read more

Thanks to everyone who left a comment in response to my last post on David Blight.  I wanted to take a few minutes to respond to Barbara Gannon’s comment, which I believe gets at something central to Blight’s overall approach to Civil War memory: Blight’s explanation is popular because it is neat and satisfying. It Read more

Tomorrow my American Studies classes will begin to discuss Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it, but I still look forward to every opportunity to revisit this book.  At some point I would like to teach an elective on the history of the nineteenth-century through Read more

Remembering Lincoln

As many of you know yesterday was the Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I recently reread Frederick Douglass’s oration delivered at the unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument in memory of Lincoln in Washington, D. C. on April 14, 1876. Lincoln continues to attract both adulation or vitriol from various camps in a way that Read more