James Weldon Johnson Institute: Confederate Heritage & Black History in Tension

This is a pretty good panel discussion held at Emory University. There’s a bit of “inside baseball” among the historians, and there were a couple historical hiccups, such as none of the panelists knowing what the Stonewall Jackson Shrine was. Parenthetically, props to historian John Hennessy for prophetically questioning whether the Stonewall Jackson Shrine would be called that in the not-too-distant future. Here we get some questioning of the name.

Overall, though, it’s a useful discussion for us.

Here’s what the video’s description says:

The mass murder of nine Black worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston reignited the debate about how the Confederacy should be remembered. Do symbols of the Confederacy honor heritage or promote racial hatred? What is the relationship between Confederate heritage and African American history? The James Weldon Johnson Institute is pleased to convene a dialogue of historians specializing in 19th and 20th Century African American and Southern History to talk about the connections between Black History, Southern History and the politics of commemoration.

Catherine Clinton, President of the Southern Historical Association and Denman Chair of American History at University of Texas-San Antonio
Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History at Emory University
Leslie M. Harris, Associate Professor of History at Emory University
Maurice J. Hobson, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University
James L. Roark, S.C. Dobbs Professor of History at Emory University

The James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference supports research, teaching, and public dialogue that examine race and intersecting dimensions of human difference including but not limited to class, gender, religion, and sexuality.




  1. Thanks for posting this Al. Nice to folks discussing this outside the usual Civil War roadshow.

    1. My pleasure, Pat.

    2. My pleasure, Pat.

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