Category News Stories

Smithsonian.com Flunks American History

The Smithsonian Institute is normally a reputable source for information; however, when they rely on freelance writers for stories, they put their reputation at risk, such as with this story. Freelance journalist Kat Eschner wrote the story. She has a master’s degree in journalism, but from what I can tell no training in history. She […]

Racist Flaggers Sentenced

You might recall these stories [here and here] from 2015 when a group of flaggers in pickup trucks went riding through a black neighborhood in Douglasville, Georgia, shouting racial epithets and threatening to kill African-Americans at a boy’s birthday party. Fifteen were originally indicted for gang terrorism. That was apparently reduced to four, with the […]

W.Va.’s Tortuous Road to Emancipation

West Virginia was not allowed to join the Union until it had enacted an emancipation program for the enslaved people within its borders. This article from 2015 by John F. Stealey III, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus of Shepherd University, traces how West Virginia got to that emancipation program. In reading the article, we learn, “When the […]

The Distinction Between Slavery and Race in US History

This article by historian Patrick Rael identifies a crucial distinction we need to understand in studying American history. While related in the Antebellum United States, race and slavery are different. As Dr. Rael explains, in the Antebellum sectional disputes, the basic divide was over slavery, whether lands should be free or slave. However, with regard […]

Columbia University and Slavery

Thanks to my blogging colleague Pat Young, I’ve come across this article. It tells us about a report prepared by Professor Eric Foner on Columbia University’s connection to the institution of slavery. “The report, to be released by the university on Tuesday as part of a new website, offers no dramatic revelations akin to that […]

Why Reconstruction Matters

Here is an excellent article from Professor Eric Foner giving a great thumbnail sketch of Reconstruction and why it’s important for us to understand it. Why is Reconstruction history important? “Issues that agitate American politics today — access to citizenship and voting rights, the relative powers of the national and state governments, the relationship between […]

For the Forgotten African-American Dead

I came across this article today. The article contrasts the dilapidated state of many African-American cemeteries with confederate cemeteries in the South. “Before we take the first of two turns to enter East End and Evergreen — an adjacent African-American cemetery that is just as overgrown and almost three times as large — we pass […]