Restricted New Lost Cause?

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As I understand it the original "Confederate Lost Cause" was presenting only the facts or history they wished to protray, to present the history as they wished it to be...

Isn't basically the same happening today with a new black lost cause? I'll use round rough numbers for simplicity sake, but in 1860 there was around 500,000 free blacks in the US, and around 4,000,000 slaves. The best generally accepted numbers I seem to find is during the war about another 500,000 slaves ran away and became contrabands.

So it seems odd when one says they are or wish to present the black experience during the war, whether in media, entertainment or in museums, they generally seem to protray USCT and runaway contrabands......when it would seem around 80% of the blacks experience was the same as it was prewar, working on the plantation. Or perhaps once war breaks out, working directly or indirectly for the Confederacy as teamsters, cooks, laborers, or in manufacturing.

It would seem they are presenting a picture they wish was commonplace, when it actually does not reflect the historical majority or reality at all.

The thread shouldn't become political, but an examination of the actual numbers during the war as to what was actually the typical experience historically. The museums I have experienced generally do not to seem to stress the experience of the majority of black Americans during the war.

But from the figures I can find, of roughly 4,500,000 free blacks and slaves at the start of the war, well over 3,000,000, would seem close to 3,500,00 remained slaves up to the close of the war. Yet that 75-80% seems rather under-represented in presentations.
 
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Was doing a drive today listening to the radio, and they brought up Lincoln emancipation memorial as guess their was a black group in DC holding a rally to keep it.

They also were talking to one who was advocating it's removal, and he said it doesn't reflect the almost 200,000 who picked up rifles to fight for their freedom.......which was 4.5% of blacks at the time

It seems to me continuely only wanting that 4.5% protrayed over the 95.5% that didn't, is basicly trying to rewrite history or give a less then accurate impression of it.

Edit-added- If one was one of the few blacks under arms prior to the EP, The EP wouldn't have affected them as they were already free, so not sure why one would think they should be portrayed in a monument to Lincoln and the EP.
 
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DanSBHawk

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Was doing a drive today listening to the radio, and they brought up Lincoln emancipation memorial as guess their was a black group in DC holding a rally to keep it.

They also were talking to one who was advocating it's removal, and he said it doesn't reflect the almost 200,000 who picked up rifles to fight for their freedom.......which was 4.5% of blacks at the time

It seems to me continuely only wanting that 4.5% protrayed over the 95.5% that didn't, is basicly trying to rewrite history or give a less then accurate impression of it.

Edit-added- If one was one of the few blacks under arms prior to the EP, The EP wouldn't have affected them as they were already free, so not sure why one would think they should be portrayed in a monument to Lincoln and the EP.
The problem with this logic, is that Southern slaves helped the Union war effort in many ways. They provided intelligence, acted as guides, told foragers where to find hidden food. In the occupied areas, they provided labor to the Union, and not under threat of a whip.

The aid they provided to the Union in still-contested areas was at great danger to themselves, if there was any chance their owner were to find out.

Even the slaves who did not escape or fight or aid the Union army, may have had reasons why they chose to stay neutral. Maybe they had owners who were even more brutal and retaliatory than normal for slave owners. The slaves had their families to think about, as well.
 

John Hartwell

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Group memory is much like pride in one's nation. The "great moments" in a nation's history belong to all its citizens, whether their own ancestors were personal participants not -- even if they had not yet immigrated. Likewise, the "great events" of African-American history belong to all African-Americans today. In a sense they belong to all Americans, whatever their ethnicity. Not all history is based on personal genealogy.

Nor do we celebrate the "low points" of our history ... though we do not deny their existence.
 
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However they did also aid the Confederacy in larger numbers, though that is another aspect of the their role in the CW that is largely ignored.

It remains the USCT and even contrabands was a minority of blacks and slaves during the civil war, yet despite that, is rather obviously overpresented and over emphasised despite being a minority of blacks during the period.

It seems a case of presenting what some wish was, over what actually was......or why not simply present the history as was, which was the majority remained slaves throughout the war.
 
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DanSBHawk

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However they did also aid the Confederacy in larger numbers, though that is another aspect of the their role in the CW that is largely ignored.

It remains the USCT and even contrabands was a minority of blacks and slaves during the civil war, yet despite that, is rather obviously overpresented and over emphasised despite being a minority of blacks during the period.

It seems a case of presenting what some wish was, over what actually was......or why not simply present the history as was, which was the majority remained slaves throughout the war.
Slaves were forced to aid the confederacy. And their owners didn't give them many options other than remaining a slave. There's no way to know how many risked their lives to aid the Union.
 
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Some were forced, best I can tell when the Union occupied areas, about half would run away to become contrabands, and half would elect to remain. I'm sure there was alot of factors that went into the decisions to leave or stay, I don't pretend to know their motivations which would vary by individual, you also seem to ignore free some free blacks would again choose to work for the Confederacy as well. Even after being freed, considerable numbers would choose to remain where they always been.

That should be told, as the true history is 3/4ths remained slaves, they hadn't ran away or joined the USCT, so why present it as if they had.........Again history is not what you wish was, or a what if, but what actually occured, which for slaves would be the majority remained slaves and served the country they lived in, which the majority would have been aiding the Confederacy. As simply growing food would have helped feed the Confederacy. But many served more directly as cooks, teamsters ECT, and laborers making armaments, accruements, fortifications ECT.
 
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Again as the original post suggests, the main question of this thread was does focusing on runaways or USCT in museum and media presentations actually present an accurate representation of blacks during the war? Or a rather false one as both contrabands (est 500,000) and USCT (178,000) are rather decided minorities of 4,500,000 slaves and free blacks.

If you arguing the 3,500,000 remaining slaves were forced to, shouldn't that be the focus of presenting the role of the majority of blacks during the CW? As it is far more then 500,000 or 178,000.........
 
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DanSBHawk

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I think that there are Americans today that are still trying to reconcile with benefiting from slavery. There are many white Americans living comfortably today that maybe wouldn't be so comfortable, if not for enslaving other Americans. It's a difficult realization.
 

Viper21

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Slaves were forced to aid the confederacy. And their owners didn't give them many options other than remaining a slave. There's no way to know how many risked their lives to aid the Union.
Nor is there any way to know, how many were forced to aid the Union. We KNOW that it happened.
 

Viper21

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I think that there are Americans today that are still trying to reconcile with benefiting from slavery. There are many white Americans living comfortably today that maybe wouldn't be so comfortable, if not for enslaving other Americans. It's a difficult realization.

Considering Slavery was abolished in December 1865, & there's not a single person alive who owned slaves then, I have serious doubts about your assertion.
 

John Hartwell

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However they did also aid the Confederacy in larger numbers, though that is another aspect of the their role in the CW that is largely ignored.
A slave has no choice beyond obedience or disobedience. What he does, other than in the simplest terms, is not a matter of free will; and actions coinciding with his master's wishes can not be taken as an expression of 'loyalty' to anything, only of obedience and submission. That is the nature of slavery, it deprives the enslaved of free will.

If he chooses to run away, he is no longer a slave, and a whole new range of possibilities opens up. It almost always presents him with greater trials and difficulties, certainly with greater uncertainties, than just submitting to the familiar life he has known since birth. Many were not prepared emotionally or practically, and for any number of reasons, to take that step. When it comes to breaking completely with the familiar, where we know our 'place' in the scheme of things, and plunging into the insecurity of the unknown, few of us are not reluctant to do so.
 
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John Hartwell

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Considering Slavery was abolished in December 1865, & there's not a single person alive who owned slaves then, I have serious doubts about your assertion.
Every American today benefits from a nation whose foundation of wealth and strength was built largely on the backs of the enslaved. And, yes, African Americans share some of that benefit, though the Jim Crow aftermath of slavery, and continued prejudice of so many whites, have substantially denied them an equal share.
 
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I think that there are Americans today that are still trying to reconcile with benefiting from slavery. There are many white Americans living comfortably today that maybe wouldn't be so comfortable, if not for enslaving other Americans. It's a difficult realization.
I think there's people attempting to rewrite history today, and it more then likely contributes to some of our ills today. The difficult realization for some would appear the history of civil rights is largely the history of whites, though they seem to be being written out of it.

Like the guys objection of the Emancipation memorial, that it portrays Lincoln giving blacks freedom, rather then they themselves rising up and taking it........again the reality of the historical statistics is the majority hadn't rose up and taken it......But Lincoln with the support of many white abolitionists and legislators freed them........

But its as if the role of whites in civil rights is being diminished and eliminated, to where in presentations of civil rights they are nothing more then villains, despite throughout the history of civil rights many leaders, advocates, and the majority driving and accomplishing it politically were in fact white.
 
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A slave has no choice beyond obedience or disobedience. What he does, other than in the simplest terms, is not a matter of free will; and actions coinciding with his master's wishes can not be taken as an expression of 'loyalty' to anything, only of obedience and submission. That is the nature of slavery, it deprives the enslaved of free will.

If he chooses to run away, he is no longer a slave, and a whole new range of possibilities opens up. It almost always presents him with greater trials and difficulties, certainly with greater uncertainties, than just submitting to the familiar life he has known since birth. Many were not prepared emotionally or practically, and for any number of reasons, to take that step. When it comes to breaking completely with the familiar, where we know our 'place' in the scheme of things, and plunging into the insecurity of the unknown, few of us are not reluctant to do so.
Someone drafted or conscripted into a war has little choice as well, it doesn't change the contributions they make that it was involuntary..... Up

Also the concept of total war which was starting around the civil war recognizes everyone of a enemy country contributes to the war effort, whether military or civilian, whether free or slave. Those feeding and supplying the enemy war machine are as a part of the enemy war effort as the war machine itself. The very act of the EP and declaring slaves contraband recognized they were vital and contributing to CS war effort. So I don't really understand why some wish to pretend otherwise today.
 
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Again it's as if some decided we don't like that the majority of blacks during the CW remained slaves, thereby in fact aiding the Confederacy......so let's just present it as if they all ran away, and the the only aid or assistance their labor provided was just for the Union......which flys completely in the face of the statistics.....

Again the problem is history isn't what they wish was......but it is what actually was....
 
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