Today has seen a ton of discussion about the Confederate flag in South Carolina (and elsewhere). For example, this very prominent piece from the New York Times that serves as a good roundup of comments and social media posts on the issue, and this compelling interview with Brown University American Studies professor Mathew Guterl. Meanwhile, there are many bloggers posting about it, like this essay by Karen L. Cox on Pop South. Apparently, even Obama has weighed in on the issue. This editorial cartoon has made the rounds. And then there is this online petition calling for the flag’s removal that allows your voice to be heard.
Meanwhile, Jon Stewart’s emotional diatribe about the situation has been perhaps the hottest thing on the internet today. The man nails it, but the part that no one seems to be commenting on is how he places things within the context of the glorification of the Confederacy (which he also nails).
Douglas Egerton has a piece in the New Republic on the history of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. I’m glad he has weighed in, because he is perhaps our foremost expert on Denmark Vessey.
Kidada Williams in Slate: “For black Americans, it is impossible to separate the massacre in Charleston from hundreds of years of vicious attacks on our churches and communities.”
Slate also has this excellent essay on why white terrorists attack black churches. They “aren’t just places of worship—they’re political institutions that threaten white power.”
Even Rolling Stone has a piece on the “long tradition of violent racism in South Carolina.”
Meanwhile, there are some non-Charleston related history news stories today:
The Society of Civil War Historians launched their new website today. (I think they should consider having a blog with guest bloggers).
I’m glad to see that Donald Shafer is back from a hiatus from his blog, just in time for this piece for the 150th of Juneteenth.
Ron Chernow, author of perhaps the best biography of Alexander Hamilton, weighs in on the decision to downgrade Alex’s place on our currency. Spoiler: he isn’t happy about it. Meanwhile, there is this article that shows that women have been on US currency before, although not very often.
Lastly, there has been an exciting archeological discovery at Virginia’s “Bacon’s Castle,” the nation’s oldest brick house.