Tag: race

Democratic political cartoon showing “fanatics” making demands of a compliant John C. Frémont, the 1856 Republican presidential candidate. Source: “The Great Republican Reform Party, Calling on Their Candidate” (New York, NY: [Nathaniel Currier], [1856]), Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Interracial Sex and American Conservatism, from the Civil War Era to the Age of Trump

Gender and race are center stage in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton, for instance, hopes to derail Donald Trump's recent pivot to the center and his courting of African Americans by linking him to the white nationalist “alt-right” movement. The current election has thereby brought national attention to the Internet’s ...
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Fighting for Every Yard: Colin Kaepernick and Patriotism in African American History

In recent days, Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest about the treatment of people of color in the United States has garnered both applause and condemnation across the fifty states. Lately, he has been joined by a teammate, a college teammate, an opponent, and soccer star Megan Rapinoe in kneeling or sitting ...
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“A History They Can Use”: The Memphis Massacre and Reconstruction’s Public History Terrain

“A History They Can Use”: The Memphis Massacre and Reconstruction’s Public History Terrain

On May 20th and 21st, a group of scholars, students, and public historians gathered at the University of Memphis to discuss a dramatic event often overlooked in the narrative of Reconstruction, the Memphis Massacre of 1866. The symposium, and the Memphis Massacre Project, informed the public about the massacre and ...
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The Battle of Ft. Pillow, a lithograph from Kurz and Allison. Image from Blackpast.org, accessed July 14, 2016.

Witnessing Racial Violence: Public Awareness and the Battle of Ft. Pillow

In 2014, bystanders’ video evidence of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths at the hands of police thrust racial bias and police brutality against people of color into the national spotlight. Black Lives Matter subsequently became both a rallying cry and a movement, with followers asserting that the deaths of ...
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Muhammad Ali’s Civil War Inheritance: A Historical Note

The death of Muhammad Ali reminded people here in America and across the world of the many ways in which his life had meaning beyond his triumphs in the boxing ring. As numerous people have recalled in recent days, Ali was more than a fierce boxer; he lived a fierce ...
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Philadelphia’s Civil War: New Documentary Depicts Racial Tensions in Wartime City

This post was written by Michael Johnson, a PhD student at George Washington University. The fourteen-part series “Philadelphia: The Great Experiment,” produced by Sam Katz and History Making Productions, traces the development of American ideals, character, and democracy over four centuries of one of the nation’s most crucial cities. Episode ...
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'Break Free’ From A One-Dimensional Portrayal of Slavery:  WGN’s new series, "Underground"

‘Break Free’ From A One-Dimensional Portrayal of Slavery: WGN’s new series, “Underground”

In the 1872 narrative, The Underground Rail Road, William Still stated that he owed “it to the cause of Freedom, and to the Fugitives and their posterity” to bring the activities of the Underground to “the public in the most truthful manner…to show what efforts were made and what success ...
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Key and Peele's “Civil War Reenactment”: Historical Sketch Comedy as Social Commentary

Key and Peele’s “Civil War Reenactment”: Historical Sketch Comedy as Social Commentary

Americans are increasingly forgetful of the fact that the Civil War was about slavery. Atlanta's 2010 Sesquicentennial kicked off with a celebration of secession, sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Only a few days ago, Mississippi's governor declared April “Confederate Heritage Month.” Fortunately, opposing voices from the realm of ...
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PBS’s Mercy Street: Series Premiere “The New Nurse” Offers More Than Blue and Gray’s Anatomy

Mercy Street, Ridley Scott’s, fresh, compelling six-part drama captures the gritty, dangerous experience of medical caregiving during the Civil War. The series debuts January 17th on PBS, immediately following Downton Abbey. Set inside Mansion House Hotel, a makeshift hospital in Alexandria, Virginia in 1862, Mercy Street is narrated from the ...
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Hateful and Forgetful: Tarantino’s Latest Chooses Gore over Racial Commentary

Is Minnie's Haberdashery, the one room stagecoach stop in which all but a few scenes of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight take place, the director's version of hell? If so, hell is a cold place of contradictions, unexpected alliances, violence, vulgarity, and truly bad coffee. Stuck in Wyoming blizzard with ...
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Mississippi Ku-Klux Klan

Eric Foner on Reconstruction’s Continued Relevance

Last week, Eric Foner addressed an audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to discuss why Reconstruction matters. This was a timely moment, with the anniversary of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment earlier in the week and historians wondering if there was to be any events marking the ...
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