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Sorah_45thVA

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May 31, 2018
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116
Location
Knoxville
I am a 25 year old East Tennessean who is extremely worried about the future of Civil War Era study. Perhaps I am simply overreacting, and I truly hope so, but I truly believe that in my short life I can feel a cultural shift against history of this time. I am seeing a whole generation of peers who are neglecting this study, is this realisitic? I am the only one who seethes with anger when I hear another Confederate monument, or high school here in dixie being forced to "co-sign" the complete removal of any confederate remininsces? American Men whose stories instilled old time values and taught me life lessons, and they are all disappointed in us for allowing such desecration. When will we confront Racist groups whose misuse and misinterpration of our symbols has caused this? And when will we all be fed up with humiliation? Sorry I had to rant haha
e0f7726727ab6bc5a661fced3306341c.jpg
 

M Anthony Young

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Feb 3, 2011
Messages
318
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Belfast, N Ireland
You make an impassioned case, Sorah_45th VA, but unfortunately I am not close enough to the ground to make an informed response. On the positive side, however, there are many people [a lot of them visitors to this site] who live in lands beyond US borders who, frankly, can't get enough of it and who study it in its entirety from a Federal and Confederate viewpoint. I think the times that were in it, the issues [huge!], the personalities, the battles, the aftermath will always have a fascination for people, American, Irish, British and beyond. Don't despair!
Michael.
 
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zburkett

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Orange County, Virginia
Sorah_45thVA, Unfortunately, it is worse than that. It is not just the Civil War that is being buried, it seems to be all American history. Start with Columbus and go through contemporary elections and try to get an unbiased version. WW I and Korea are forgotten wars. WW II is only mentioned. Viet Nam is discussed as a political issue. Founding Fathers are old white guys, etc. Here in America we have a rich history that reads better than any fiction when you can get the facts, but there seems to be a plot to hide the facts behind a political agenda.
 

Bruce Vail

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Messages
4,126
I think you are overreacting. Although the cultural shift against public memorials to the Confederacy looks likely to continue, that will not deter the countless professional and amateur historians who are drawn to Civil War study. Nor will the War cease to be a fascinating subject for many laymen (like myself) who become interested for personal reasons.

The removal of several hundred public memorials to the Confederacy is really not such a big deal. We went through this exercise here in my home town of Baltimore and I can't see that it has had any lasting effect.
 
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It's interesting. Looking at old movies such as the Dukes of Hazard, or if you caught the front plate of the car in the movie Deliverance, the Confederate naval jack as we know it was more of a symbol of "hey, I'm Southern and proud" and less to do with the history behind it. I don't think the people displaying the flag had any intention of offending others, yet on the other hand, it did. It's a complex issue and I think today the main reason this issue is so publicized is for political reasons, to pander to voter bases.

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When I look at all these images, I don't see any Confederate soldiers. I see proud American soldiers who are also proud to be from the South. I used all these images because if anyone is qualified to speak out on this issue, it's men who put their lives on the line for our country.

I personally am not offended when I see a Confederate flag, but I don't sport one myself in fear of offending others who don't see things the way I do. I respect other people's opinions. But I do believe it's important to know that this is a deeply political issue that has been brought up front in the recent past, whether its politicians who praise them, or politicians who condemn them.
 
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Bruce Vail

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It's interesting. Looking at old movies such as the Dukes of Hazard, or if you caught the front plate of the car in the movie Deliverance, the Confederate naval jack as we know it was more of a symbol of "hey, I'm Southern and proud" and less to do with the history behind it. I don't think the people displaying the flag had any intention of offending others, yet on the other hand, it did. It's a complex issue and I think today the main reason this issue is so publicized is for political reasons, to pander to voter bases.

1e7067b9c7d6975b43ecc9f72879e540.jpg
25f63504ba2a925a7a9a2eba5c614a95.jpg
c49.jpg


join.jpg
marinesiraq.jpg


rebelflag.jpg


6799bded974decb73dfc01445eeed274.jpg




When I look at all these images, I don't any Confederate soldiers. I see proud American soldiers who are also proud to be from the South. I used all these images because if anyone is qualified to speak out on this issue, it's men who put their lives on the line for our country.

I personally am not offended when I see a Confederate flag, but I don't sport one myself in fear of offending others who don't see things the way I do. I respect other people's opinions. But I do believe it's important to know that this is a deeply political issue that has been brought up front in the recent past, whether its politicians who praise them, or politicians who condemn them.
I am not offended by the display of the Confederate flag, except when it is intended as a display of racial hatred. Unfortunately, displays of racial hatred seem all too common, both now and in the past.
 

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
8,175
Location
South Carolina
It's interesting. Looking at old movies such as the Dukes of Hazard, or if you caught the front plate of the car in the movie Deliverance, the Confederate naval jack as we know it was more of a symbol of "hey, I'm Southern and proud" and less to do with the history behind it. I don't think the people displaying the flag had any intention of offending others, yet on the other hand, it did. It's a complex issue and I think today the main reason this issue is so publicized is for political reasons, to pander to voter bases.

1e7067b9c7d6975b43ecc9f72879e540.jpg
25f63504ba2a925a7a9a2eba5c614a95.jpg
c49.jpg


join.jpg
marinesiraq.jpg


rebelflag.jpg


6799bded974decb73dfc01445eeed274.jpg




When I look at all these images, I don't any Confederate soldiers. I see proud American soldiers who are also proud to be from the South. I used all these images because if anyone is qualified to speak out on this issue, it's men who put their lives on the line for our country.

I personally am not offended when I see a Confederate flag, but I don't sport one myself in fear of offending others who don't see things the way I do. I respect other people's opinions. But I do believe it's important to know that this is a deeply political issue that has been brought up front in the recent past, whether its politicians who praise them, or politicians who condemn them.
One of the changing meanings of the Confederate flag over the last 155 years is that it has been absorbed into broader expressions of American patriotism, and these photos reflect that.
 

ForeverFree

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Joined
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Messages
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District of Columbia
I am a 25 year old East Tennessean who is extremely worried about the future of Civil War Era study. Perhaps I am simply overreacting, and I truly hope so, but I truly believe that in my short life I can feel a cultural shift against history of this time. I am seeing a whole generation of peers who are neglecting this study, is this realisitic? I am the only one who seethes with anger when I hear another Confederate monument, or high school here in dixie being forced to "co-sign" the complete removal of any confederate remininsces? American Men whose stories instilled old time values and taught me life lessons, and they are all disappointed in us for allowing such desecration. When will we confront Racist groups whose misuse and misinterpration of our symbols has caused this? And when will we all be fed up with humiliation? Sorry I had to rant haha View attachment 206067
1) I think that over time, people become less and less interested in older history. WWII was a big deal for my generation (I was born in 1955), but I can understand that it might not be as interesting to Millennials. My observation is that CW history still gets a lot of interest, while interest in the Revolutionary War, WWI or even Reconstruction is comparatively quite low... those are areas where it is legitimately right to worry that the history is being overlooked or forgotten.

2) I mentioned in another thread that, one consequence of the Viet Nam War, which I lived through, was a dislike for wars and the military. When I was growing up, there were many WWII comic books (such as Sgt Rock and Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos.) We don't see those books today. I think that dislike has persisted in following generations. Bottom line is, war was once seen as romantic, heroic, chivalric. Today, war is a turn-off. I don't think that attitude is going to change anytime in the near future.

- Alan
 
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Zella

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1) I think that over time, people become less and less interested in older history. WWII was a big deal for my generation (I was born in 1955), but I can understand that it might not be as interesting to Millennials. My observation is that CW history still gets a lot of interest, while interest in the Revolutionary War, WWI or even Reconstruction is comparatively quite low... those are areas where it is legitimately right to worry that the history is being overlooked or forgotten.
I think there's a lot of truth to this. I'm in my late 20s, and though WWII seems to be popular with a lot of my peers, I've found it almost always leads back to Band of Brothers or Call of Duty, and their knowledge is pretty scanty otherwise. (Of course, that's not true for actual history buffs.) The 1960s actually seemed to be of a lot of interest to my friends and classmates when I was getting my history degree, but it was more recent and likely something they were more familiar with from their own parents' experiences.
 
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Sorah_45thVA

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May 31, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Knoxville
I think you are overreacting. Although the cultural shift against public memorials to the Confederacy looks likely to continue, that will not deter the countless professional and amateur historians who are drawn to Civil War study. Nor will the War cease to be a fascinating subject for many laymen (like myself) who become interested for personal reasons.

The removal of several hundred public memorials to the Confederacy is really not such a big deal. We went through this exercise here in my home town of Baltimore and I can't see that it has had any lasting effect.
Perhaps I am overreacting here but I see shades of Orwells 1982 here in this movement to rewrite history. I don't fly a confederate battle flag because there's more intelligent ways to go about showing pride and several other flags that most people have no idea are confederate.
 

Sorah_45thVA

Private
Joined
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Messages
116
Location
Knoxville
I think there's a lot of truth to this. I'm in my late 20s, and though WWII seems to be popular with a lot of my peers, I've found it almost always leads back to Band of Brothers or Call of Duty, and their knowledge is pretty scanty otherwise. (Of course, that's not true for actual history buffs.) The 1960s actually seemed to be of a lot of interest to my friends and classmates when I was getting my history degree, but it was more recent and likely something they were more familiar with from their own parents' experiences.
Perhaps the underlining lessons, themes and overall nature of the war is too far out of step with societal norms now. It makes sense for our generation to be able to relate to WW2 with its intense nature. But relating to the men of the civil war is too difficult for us now
 
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Zella

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Perhaps the underlining lessons, themes and overall nature of the war is too far out of step with societal norms now. It makes sense for our generation to be able to relate to WW2 with its intense nature. But relating to the men of the civil war is too difficult for us now
That's entirely possible.

But the Civil War was popular with my classmates in the history department! That was one of the biggest classes I was in, and we had a couple of non-majors who signed up for it, which freaked us out because we didn't know how to act around company! :D
 

ForeverFree

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Messages
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District of Columbia
I am a 25 year old East Tennessean who is extremely worried about the future of Civil War Era study. Perhaps I am simply overreacting, and I truly hope so, but I truly believe that in my short life I can feel a cultural shift against history of this time. I am seeing a whole generation of peers who are neglecting this study, is this realisitic? I am the only one who seethes with anger when I hear another Confederate monument, or high school here in dixie being forced to "co-sign" the complete removal of any confederate remininsces? American Men whose stories instilled old time values and taught me life lessons, and they are all disappointed in us for allowing such desecration. When will we confront Racist groups whose misuse and misinterpration of our symbols has caused this? And when will we all be fed up with humiliation? Sorry I had to rant haha View attachment 206067
I wanted to touch a little on how African Americans are feeling about these issues. I do not pretend to speak for any group, but I do have a unique position from which to discuss this.

It is important to note that for Southern African Americans especially, certain aspects of their history was ignored or suppressed or hidden. This is demonstrable; consider this:

a-measuring-rod-warnings-and-rejects-2-gif.gif


This is from a pamphlet published in 1920 by the the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), and was prepared by Mildred Lewis Rutherford, who was the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). They were engaged in an active campaign to censor certain content from books about Civil War History. They especially didn't want southerners of any race to think the war had anything to do with slavery, or that slavery was bad in any way. They were literally white-washing history.

It was only in the mid-1960s that Jim Crow was legally disassembled. But it's taken decades to transition from that past and "fix" things, and for many people it's still not fixed. In January 2011, a special report was issued by the National Park Service, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. That report, titled Assessing African American Attitudes Toward the Civil War; The War of Jubilee – Tell Our Story and We Will Come, detailed the results of focus groups with African Americans from Georgia to discuss their views about the Civil War, and also, the public spaces that commemorate the war.

The study was prompted by the acknowledgement that in the past, the full story of the Civil War – specifically, the story of African Americans during the war – has been marginalized or even ignored by “public spaces,” such as national parks, battlefield sites, and museums. As a step toward developing programs – including tours, site markers, presentations, and printed materials – that reflect the full history of the Civil War, the staff at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (KEMO) in the Atlanta area conducted research to assess African American views toward the War, and the Park. KEMO partnered with the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University to conduct the research.

This is from the report:

An analysis of the audio-recorded focus group sessions demonstrates varying levels of skepticism and optimism among respondents regarding the Civil War museum interpretations at Kennesaw Mountain National Battleffield Park and other historical sites. Initial skepticism about KEMO and NPS’s willingness to expand its interpretation is compounded by a suspicion of the nature of that historical interpretation. While the different groups demonstrated a strong desire to know more about the African American experience during the Civil War, there were strong feelings amongst the participants that the history of African Americans and the Civil War will continue to be misinterpreted in the South.

The predominance of the Southern Civil War “Lost Cause” narrative presented a second area of concern. The groups suggested that the Civil War, as it is taught in the South, offers a one-dimensional look at African Americans and reduces the conflict’s complexities to a “memorial” of a distant and better time.

Participants remarked that African Americans are largely written about as passive spectators, i.e. slaves, if they figure at all in the official Southern histories. This enervating representation frustrated most participants and angered several within the groups. One college-educated participant felt outraged that he had no knowledge of the USCT or his own family history of participation in the war until he heard an elderly relative reference that “Grandpa Ed with big sticks in the big war” – the Civil War. Another participant shared the story of a “great-great grandfather who drove wagons for Sherman.”

Many of the participants felt that the implementation of a potentially new interpretation inclusive of the African Americans experience would elicit controversy about the legitimacy of such a “new” interpretation by the white public.

There was also concern of backlash from traditional, white Southerners that may lead to confrontation with African American visitors at KEMO and in other places. Participants across the groups stated that KEMO should implement strategies to make African Americans feel safe and welcome at the battlefield​

The title of the report says in part, "Tell Our Story and We Will Come." I volunteer at the African American Civil War Museum, which commemorates African American soldiers and sailors and the freedom experience during the war. Hundreds of people do come to the museum every week. Just this past Monday, we had large groups from Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana come in, they were all of African descent. They were hungry to learn about the history. I can't tell you how many times people have come to the museum and said, "thanks for telling us about our history... we just didn't know... nobody ever told us."

We must understand that the South's commemorative landscape was constructed by the same people who decreed that the war had nothing to do with slavery, and that slavery was good. African American southerners, and many white southerners, see that the landscape is unfair and unbalanced, and they question why they should accept that. A public sphere that seems to respect some people's heritage, while it disregards and disappears other people's heritage, is a sure recipe for controversy.

This is going to be a hard thing to fix.

- Alan
 

Karen Lips

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Waxahachie,Texas
It's interesting. Looking at old movies such as the Dukes of Hazard, or if you caught the front plate of the car in the movie Deliverance, the Confederate naval jack as we know it was more of a symbol of "hey, I'm Southern and proud" and less to do with the history behind it. I don't think the people displaying the flag had any intention of offending others, yet on the other hand, it did. It's a complex issue and I think today the main reason this issue is so publicized is for political reasons, to pander to voter bases.

1e7067b9c7d6975b43ecc9f72879e540.jpg
25f63504ba2a925a7a9a2eba5c614a95.jpg
c49.jpg


join.jpg
marinesiraq.jpg


rebelflag.jpg


6799bded974decb73dfc01445eeed274.jpg




When I look at all these images, I don't any Confederate soldiers. I see proud American soldiers who are also proud to be from the South. I used all these images because if anyone is qualified to speak out on this issue, it's men who put their lives on the line for our country.

I personally am not offended when I see a Confederate flag, but I don't sport one myself in fear of offending others who don't see things the way I do. I respect other people's opinions. But I do believe it's important to know that this is a deeply political issue that has been brought up front in the recent past, whether its politicians who praise them, or politicians who condemn them.
I wish a documentary film would be made about the history of the Confederate flag.
 
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Karen Lips

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I wanted to touch a little on how African Americans are feeling about these issues. I do not pretend to speak for any group, but I do have a unique position from which to discuss this.

It is important to note that for Southern African Americans especially, certain aspects of their history was ignored or suppressed or hidden. This is demonstrable; consider this:

a-measuring-rod-warnings-and-rejects-2-gif.gif


This is from a pamphlet published in 1920 by the the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), and was prepared by Mildred Lewis Rutherford, who was the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). They were engaged in an active campaign to censor certain content from books about Civil War History. They especially didn't want southerners of any race to think the war had anything to do with slavery, or that slavery was bad in any way. They were literally white-washing history.

It was only in the mid-1960s that Jim Crow was legally disassembled. But it's taken decades to transition from that past and "fix" things, and for many people it's still not fixed. In January 2011, a special report was issued by the National Park Service, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. That report, titled Assessing African American Attitudes Toward the Civil War; The War of Jubilee – Tell Our Story and We Will Come, detailed the results of focus groups with African Americans from Georgia to discuss their views about the Civil War, and also, the public spaces that commemorate the war.

The study was prompted by the acknowledgement that in the past, the full story of the Civil War – specifically, the story of African Americans during the war – has been marginalized or even ignored by “public spaces,” such as national parks, battlefield sites, and museums. As a step toward developing programs – including tours, site markers, presentations, and printed materials – that reflect the full history of the Civil War, the staff at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (KEMO) in the Atlanta area conducted research to assess African American views toward the War, and the Park. KEMO partnered with the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University to conduct the research.

This is from the report:

An analysis of the audio-recorded focus group sessions demonstrates varying levels of skepticism and optimism among respondents regarding the Civil War museum interpretations at Kennesaw Mountain National Battleffield Park and other historical sites. Initial skepticism about KEMO and NPS’s willingness to expand its interpretation is compounded by a suspicion of the nature of that historical interpretation. While the different groups demonstrated a strong desire to know more about the African American experience during the Civil War, there were strong feelings amongst the participants that the history of African Americans and the Civil War will continue to be misinterpreted in the South.

The predominance of the Southern Civil War “Lost Cause” narrative presented a second area of concern. The groups suggested that the Civil War, as it is taught in the South, offers a one-dimensional look at African Americans and reduces the conflict’s complexities to a “memorial” of a distant and better time.

Participants remarked that African Americans are largely written about as passive spectators, i.e. slaves, if they figure at all in the official Southern histories. This enervating representation frustrated most participants and angered several within the groups. One college-educated participant felt outraged that he had no knowledge of the USCT or his own family history of participation in the war until he heard an elderly relative reference that “Grandpa Ed with big sticks in the big war” – the Civil War. Another participant shared the story of a “great-great grandfather who drove wagons for Sherman.”

Many of the participants felt that the implementation of a potentially new interpretation inclusive of the African Americans experience would elicit controversy about the legitimacy of such a “new” interpretation by the white public.

There was also concern of backlash from traditional, white Southerners that may lead to confrontation with African American visitors at KEMO and in other places. Participants across the groups stated that KEMO should implement strategies to make African Americans feel safe and welcome at the battlefield​

The title of the report says in part, "Tell Our Story and We Will Come." I volunteer at the African American Civil War Museum, which commemorates African American soldiers and sailors and the freedom experience during the war. Hundreds of people do come to the museum every week. Just this past Monday, we had large groups from Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana come in, they were all of African descent. They were hungry to learn about the history. I can't tell you how many times people have come to the museum and said, "thanks for telling us about our history... we just didn't know... nobody ever told us."

We must understand that the South's commemorative landscape was constructed by the same people who decreed that the war had nothing to do with slavery, and that slavery was good. African American southerners, and many white southerners, see that the landscape is unfair and unbalanced, and they question why they should accept that. A public sphere that seems to respect some people's heritage, while it disregards and disappears other people's heritage, is a sure recipe for controversy.

This is going to be a hard thing to fix.

- Alan
Interesting.
 

Northern Light

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Messages
10,898
It's interesting. Looking at old movies such as the Dukes of Hazard, or if you caught the front plate of the car in the movie Deliverance, the Confederate naval jack as we know it was more of a symbol of "hey, I'm Southern and proud" and less to do with the history behind it. I don't think the people displaying the flag had any intention of offending others, yet on the other hand, it did. It's a complex issue and I think today the main reason this issue is so publicized is for political reasons, to pander to voter bases.

1e7067b9c7d6975b43ecc9f72879e540.jpg
25f63504ba2a925a7a9a2eba5c614a95.jpg
c49.jpg


join.jpg
marinesiraq.jpg


rebelflag.jpg


6799bded974decb73dfc01445eeed274.jpg




When I look at all these images, I don't any Confederate soldiers. I see proud American soldiers who are also proud to be from the South. I used all these images because if anyone is qualified to speak out on this issue, it's men who put their lives on the line for our country.

I personally am not offended when I see a Confederate flag, but I don't sport one myself in fear of offending others who don't see things the way I do. I respect other people's opinions. But I do believe it's important to know that this is a deeply political issue that has been brought up front in the recent past, whether its politicians who praise them, or politicians who condemn them.
While I appreciate your viewpoint, I couldn't help but notice how many of the soldiers in these pictures are obviously Caucasian. Just sayin'.
 

Karen Lips

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Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
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Location
Waxahachie,Texas
You make an impassioned case, Sorah_45th VA, but unfortunately I am not close enough to the ground to make an informed response. On the positive side, however, there are many people [a lot of them visitors to this site] who live in lands beyond US borders who, frankly, can't get enough of it and who study it in its entirety from a Federal and Confederate viewpoint. I think the times that were in it, the issues [huge!], the personalities, the battles, the aftermath will always have a fascination for people, American, Irish, British and beyond. Don't despair!
Michael.
I had no idea that so many from other countries were interested in our Civil War until I came to this forum. I have been amused and touched by the interest that foreigners have in what was the most tragic time in our nation's history. Just what is it about this war that fascinates you?
 
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ForeverFree

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I wanted to touch a little on how African Americans are feeling about these issues. I do not pretend to speak for any group, but I do have a unique position from which to discuss this.

It is important to note that for Southern African Americans especially, certain aspects of their history was ignored or suppressed or hidden. This is demonstrable; consider this:

a-measuring-rod-warnings-and-rejects-2-gif.gif


This is from a pamphlet published in 1920 by the the United Confederate Veterans (UCV), and was prepared by Mildred Lewis Rutherford, who was the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). They were engaged in an active campaign to censor certain content from books about Civil War History. They especially didn't want southerners of any race to think the war had anything to do with slavery, or that slavery was bad in any way. They were literally white-washing history.

It was only in the mid-1960s that Jim Crow was legally disassembled. But it's taken decades to transition from that past and "fix" things, and for many people it's still not fixed. In January 2011, a special report was issued by the National Park Service, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University. That report, titled Assessing African American Attitudes Toward the Civil War; The War of Jubilee – Tell Our Story and We Will Come, detailed the results of focus groups with African Americans from Georgia to discuss their views about the Civil War, and also, the public spaces that commemorate the war.

The study was prompted by the acknowledgement that in the past, the full story of the Civil War – specifically, the story of African Americans during the war – has been marginalized or even ignored by “public spaces,” such as national parks, battlefield sites, and museums. As a step toward developing programs – including tours, site markers, presentations, and printed materials – that reflect the full history of the Civil War, the staff at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (KEMO) in the Atlanta area conducted research to assess African American views toward the War, and the Park. KEMO partnered with the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University to conduct the research.

This is from the report:

An analysis of the audio-recorded focus group sessions demonstrates varying levels of skepticism and optimism among respondents regarding the Civil War museum interpretations at Kennesaw Mountain National Battleffield Park and other historical sites. Initial skepticism about KEMO and NPS’s willingness to expand its interpretation is compounded by a suspicion of the nature of that historical interpretation. While the different groups demonstrated a strong desire to know more about the African American experience during the Civil War, there were strong feelings amongst the participants that the history of African Americans and the Civil War will continue to be misinterpreted in the South.

The predominance of the Southern Civil War “Lost Cause” narrative presented a second area of concern. The groups suggested that the Civil War, as it is taught in the South, offers a one-dimensional look at African Americans and reduces the conflict’s complexities to a “memorial” of a distant and better time.

Participants remarked that African Americans are largely written about as passive spectators, i.e. slaves, if they figure at all in the official Southern histories. This enervating representation frustrated most participants and angered several within the groups. One college-educated participant felt outraged that he had no knowledge of the USCT or his own family history of participation in the war until he heard an elderly relative reference that “Grandpa Ed with big sticks in the big war” – the Civil War. Another participant shared the story of a “great-great grandfather who drove wagons for Sherman.”

Many of the participants felt that the implementation of a potentially new interpretation inclusive of the African Americans experience would elicit controversy about the legitimacy of such a “new” interpretation by the white public.

There was also concern of backlash from traditional, white Southerners that may lead to confrontation with African American visitors at KEMO and in other places. Participants across the groups stated that KEMO should implement strategies to make African Americans feel safe and welcome at the battlefield​

The title of the report says in part, "Tell Our Story and We Will Come." I volunteer at the African American Civil War Museum, which commemorates African American soldiers and sailors and the freedom experience during the war. Hundreds of people do come to the museum every week. Just this past Monday, we had large groups from Kentucky, Georgia, and Louisiana come in, they were all of African descent. They were hungry to learn about the history. I can't tell you how many times people have come to the museum and said, "thanks for telling us about our history... we just didn't know... nobody ever told us."

We must understand that the South's commemorative landscape was constructed by the same people who decreed that the war had nothing to do with slavery, and that slavery was good. African American southerners, and many white southerners, see that the landscape is unfair and unbalanced, and they question why they should accept that. A public sphere that seems to respect some people's heritage, while it disregards and disappears other people's heritage, is a sure recipe for controversy.

This is going to be a hard thing to fix.

- Alan
I will add one more thing to this. Presently, the discussion is about retaining the commemorative landscape we have, or moving it or removing it. I am not in favor of either approach.

I would rather have a discussion about how the landscape should look, and how we can construct that landscape, and how long it would take to accomplish that. But I have no idea how to make that happen. Right now the landscape is largely constructed by activists with time and organization and money, and was largely populated during the Jim Crow era. I don't know how people go about remaking the landscape so it is more inclusive using the traditional means that people have employed for making monuments, museums, etc. Absent being rich and powerful and politically connected, this is hard stuff to pull off.

- Alan
 
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