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Grape & Canister
Next Thursday (Sept. 15) I will be speaking at the Olde Colony Civil War Round Table in Dedham, MA. The presentation will take place at the Endicott Estate, 656 East St. Dedham, 02026, beginning at 7pm. I am going to talk about Robert Gould Shaw and the Second Massachusetts Regiment. Come on out if you live in the area.
In the News
This is an encouraging story out of Richmond, Virginia about two sisters who are working to bring attention to the city’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. The neighborhood boasts an incredibly rich history that is often obscured by the debate over Confederate monuments.
Despite the city’s status as the keeper of Lost Cause mythology, ‘it also is ground zero for Blackness in this country,’ she said. ‘And it’s a very complicated history. And so maybe that’s why I’m so in love with it, because it has so much still to unpack.’”
The descendants of African Americans enslaved at Arlington House are calling for the federal government to change its official designation as “The Robert E. Lee Memorial.”
By telling the stories of our free and enslaved ancestors, we can have an effect on how this land and its spaces are perceived, while honoring the complete history of the times past and present.
I shared my thoughts about the site’s recent interpretive changes back in July.
Here is a first look at the plans to reimagine the former site of the Robet E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia. This is going to be a divisive process given the history of the site, the controversy surrounding the monument’s removal, and the reappropriation of the site by activists and other Richmonders since the summer of 2020.
The Georgia Historical Society has awarded its 2022 Bell Award for the Best Book on Georgia History to historian Keith Hebert, for his book, Cornerstone of the Confederacy: Alexander Stephens and the Speech that Defined the Lost Cause. I reviewed the book for the GHS’s journal and highly recommend it.
The Gilder Lehrman has announced the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Finalists. Congratulations to them all.
Here is historian Keisha Blain weighing in on the ongoing debate about presentism that was touched off recently by the president of the American Historical Association.
Black historians have long recognized the role of the present in shaping our narratives of the past. We have never had the luxury of writing about the past as though it were divorced from present concerns. The persistence of racism, white supremacy, and racial inequality everywhere in American society makes it impossible to do so.
New to the Civil War Memory Library
Nicole Hemmer, Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s (Basic Books, 2022).
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It’s fascinating to read about a period of time in which you lived through only to find that what you thought you understood was, in fact, so much more complicated.
The big guy is looking forward to cooler temperatures in the coming weeks. Otis spent last weekend on the Maine coast, where he enjoyed morning walks on the beach and plenty of belly rubs from strangers who just couldn’t resist this goofy fluffball.
Have a great weekend.
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