Historian Kellie Carter Jackson on why she is participating in a 24-hour teach-in to protest Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s ongoing campaign to censor the teaching of history.
The disciplines of African American studies, women and gender studies and ethnic studies are about giving voice, volume and value to the countless ways marginalized people have contributed to American success, identity and culture. Accordingly, it is only fitting that scholars, educators, teachers and those in solidarity use their voices to speak out to keep these histories alive and present in Americans minds. Anything short is dishonest at best and deadly at the extreme.
The last remaining piece of a Confederate statue that once stood in Jacksonville, Florida has been removed.
Another US Army base named in honor of a Confederate general has been removed.
Black United States soldiers from Natchez, Mississippi, who helped defeat the Confederacy, will soon be honored with a new monument.
An infantryman, a heavy-artillery soldier and a Navy sailor facing the Mississippi River stand shoulder-to-shoulder at 10 feet tall in Jay Warren’s designs, which the committee released to the public and put to vote during a town hall in October 2022. In opposition to the ways in which the committee believes the U.S. Colored Troops have been overlooked for so long, the statues are intended to feel larger-than-life and impossible for passersby to ignore.
It’s hard to believe that the movie Gettysburg is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year.
New to the Civil War Memory Library
Ned Blackhawk, The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History (Yale University Press, 2023).
D. Scott Hartwig, To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).
It’s a gorgeous day here in Boston. Otis is going to make the most of it.
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From “The Conversation” newsletter, May 15, 2023:
“The Florida Department of Education announced on April 10, 2023, that it had rejected 35% of the social studies books publishers submitted for approval and use in the state’s public schools. The move was based on a determination the books contain references to social justice issues ‘and other information’ not aligned with Florida Law.’”
“I direct Penn State programs – the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative and the Hammel Family Human Rights Initiative – that give my colleagues and me a real-time glimpse into the vulnerable state of K-12 instruction about difficult topics.”
“As a documentary filmmaker and assistant professor of journalism, I often discuss difficult topics with students. After a rough-cut university screening of my forthcoming documentary “Cojot,” which tells the story of Holocaust survivor Michel Cojot’s 1970s quest to kill his father’s Nazi executioner, two college students approached me apologetically, saying, ‘We’ve never heard of this.’
“To spare them embarrassment, I noted the protagonist’s obscurity. That’s why I’ve made this film, I said.
“Shaking their heads, the students stressed they’d ‘never heard about any of this.’
“They were talking about the Holocaust.”
Thank you, as always, for sharing Otis. He lifts my sad and angry heart.
There is an even more dangerous clause in SB266, which was signed on Monday, and that we will soon see expanded to other states, such as Texas: "General education core courses may not distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics, or is based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities." Such a fabulist approach to teaching American history -- without reference to even privilege or, strikingly, the inequities built into founding institutions -- means that only founding fables, with America's founding as a perfect myth, can be taught to students in the core courses.