Yankees as bad guys again; Rebel iconography @ St. Paul’s Church; NOLA & Lee Circle; thumbprints & our ancestors; Tubman & “bad bitches”

I am all for a new Civil War movie, especially when it involves women on the home front facing down obstacles. And the makers of this film have expressly described the film as “realistically feminist.” I am sympathetic to that and I hope it is a good movie. BUT, why do we have to continue to have movies that depict Union soldiers in a negative light? This thing looks like an extended take on Scarlett’s and Melanie’s confrontation with a damn yankee.

And while we are on the Civil War: Ashley Luskey jumps into the Rebel iconography debate with this thoughtful piece on Richmond’s St. Paul’s Church. I am prone to agree with her in theory (as I have frequently supported contextualization), however, I think a church is a bit different from other public spaces. She argues that taking the windows out and putting them in a museum for interpretation would alter the potential historical lesson by separating them from their original location, all the more important because of what the location says about the importance of religion to the Confederacy and the Lost Cause. Agreed. But, I am not so sure that the same can’t be achieved by moving the windows to a historical display IN the church itself.

Meanwhile, Aljazeera has a piece on the controversy down in New Orleans about possibly removing [Robert E.] Lee Circle. This is a long piece, but well worth the read. One thing that stuck out to me was when one member of the SCV crowd shouted at a black man that was speaking against the monument, “If it wouldn’t be for us, your kind would not have lived because they would have starved to death by now.” You gotta love it when one of them slips up (as they often do) and reveals the level of hate and racism that still infuses much of their “heritage.”

And shifting some gears: it seems that our thumbprints can tell us much about where our ancestors came from.

And lastly, did you catch Drunk History’s awesome take on Harriet Tubman? If not, enjoy.

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