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Archive for the 'USH: Reconstruction' Category

The Unlikely Paths of Grant and Lee

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

To millions of Americans, 150 years after the end of the Civil War, Lee is a role model and Grant is—despite his gifted generalship and consequential presidency—an embarrassment. What happened? How did the hero of the war become a quasi-ignominious figure, and how did the champion of Southern slavery become, if not the war’s hero, its most popular figure?

Jamelle Bouie tackles this vexing question.

The Confederacy and Medicaid

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Ten of the Eleven Former Confederate States Are Not Participating in the Expansion of Medicaid
Participating: ArkansasNot Participating: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee (may reverse rejection), Texas and Virginia

Medicaid expansion plans (as of July 2013)

You likey the red herring?

It would be fun to give this article to students, watch them digest it hook, line, and sinker, then suss out the flimsy rhetoric and hyperbole, leaving nothing but the map for the argument to hang on.
(…then rebuild the argument on more firm grounds)
If I were a more creative teacher I would do this.

Southern Reconstruction: Thomas Nast cartoons

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Here is Nast’s take on Reconstruction 

History of the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

Friday, December 12th, 2014

History of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, president of the United States, by the House of representatives, and his trial by the Senate, for high crimes and misdemeanors in office, 1868.

By Edmund G. Ross! (Ross was the Senator who cast the ballot that kept Johnson in office.)

Edmund G. Ross is one of eight U.S. Senators featured in Profiles in Courage, the 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning history co-written by then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen in commemoration of past acts of political courage in Congress.

Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

Friday, December 12th, 2014

This is the concluding chapter of an  Foner book on Reconstruction. Foner is arguably the most influential contemporary voice in Reconstruction studies.

Epilogue: the River Has its Bend is worth a read…as is the rest of the book.

Coates’ Case for Reparations

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This journalistic tour de force is the best piece I’ve read this year. Coates puts the question squarely into the reader’s face and, in so doing, changes the dialogue about reparations.


I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”
II.  “A Difference of Kind, Not Degree”
III. “We Inherit Our Ample Patrimony”
IV. “The Ills That Slavery Frees Us From”
V. The Quiet Plunder
VI. Making The Second Ghetto
VII. “A Lot Of People Fell By The Way”
VIII. “Negro Poverty is not White Poverty”
IX. Toward A New Country
X. “There Will Be No ‘Reparations’ From Germany”

Read the Case for Reparations

Answer these questions 

You might also be interested in Coates’ evolving thoughts on reparations.

The case for reparations: a narrative bibliography

Friday, June 27th, 2014

“As I’ve said before, the idea of reparations precedes this month’s cover of The Atlantic, and the work around it—among scholars, activists, and writers—has been ongoing, even if the interest of the broader world is fickle. Following up on the autopsy of an idea, I thought I’d give some larger sense of how something like this came to be. My hope is to give people who are interested some entrée into further reading, and also to credit the antecedents to my own thinking. Perhaps most importantly, I wish to return to one of the original features of blogging—the documentation of public thinking. I would suggest that more writers, more academics, and more journalists do this, and do so honestly. It have come to believe that arguing with the self is as important as arguing with the broader world.”

Booker T. and W.E.B.

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois

By Dudley Randall

“It seems to me,” said Booker T.,
“It shows a mighty lot of cheek
To study chemistry and Greek
When Mister Charlie needs a hand
To hoe the cotton on his land,
And when Miss Ann looks for a cook,
Why stick your nose inside a book?”

“I don’t agree,” said W.E.B.
“If I should have the drive to seek
Knowledge of chemistry or Greek,
I’ll do it. Charles and Miss can look
Another place for hand or cook,
Some men rejoice in skill of hand,
And some in cultivating land,
But there are others who maintain
The right to cultivate the brain.”

“It seems to me,” said Booker T.,
“That all you folks have missed the boat
Who shout about the right to vote,
And spend vain days and sleepless nights
In uproar over civil rights.
Just keep your mouths shut, do not grouse,
But work, and save, and buy a house.”

“I don’t agree,” said W.E.B.
“For what can property avail
If dignity and justice fail?
Unless you help to make the laws,
They’ll steal your house with trumped-up clause.
A rope’s as tight, a fire as hot,
No matter how much cash you’ve got.
Speak soft, and try your little plan,
But as for me, I’ll be a man.”

“It seems to me,” said Booker T.–

“I don’t agree,”
Said W.E.B.

Going to Summer Kamp With the KKK

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

This brochure advertises a Ku Klux Klan summer resort to be convened in 1924 near Rockport, Texas. The pamphlet offers KKK members a roster of family activities, including swimming, “watermelon parties,” and “big game fishing.” The excursion would even be educational: Klan members might “learn … what is a hammerhead, a dog fish, a sea urchin, blow fish, a drum or a porpose [sic].”

The Kool Koast Kamp (the KKK scattered Ks with abandon) was meant to serve people who are “not [usually] privileged to enjoy an outing such as this will afford.” Such families might “dream of a trip to Atlantic City or Palm Beach,” but then “crank up old Lizzie, throw the kids in and head for [the Kamp],” which would be “much cooler, much cheaper, more restful and greater sport.”

The brochure manages to work threatened whiteness—and, in particular, threatened womanhood—into its language, without directly referencing race. In the brochure’s illustration, a giant cross looms over the “shaded beach for complexion protection.”  “Wonderful Mothers” are assured that “The Fiery Cross guards you at nights,” while “Beautiful Daughters” are told: “The sentiment reflected through humanity by the rays of the Fiery Cross makes you as safe on our Kamp as at home in Mother’s Arms.”

Of the Training of Black Men, W. E. B. Du Bois

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

And last of all there trickles down that third and darker thought, the thought of the things themselves, the confused half-conscious mutter of men who are black and whitened, crying Liberty, Freedom, Opportunity — vouchsafe to us, O boastful World, the chance of living men! To be sure, behind the thought lurks the afterthought: suppose, after all, the World is right and we are less than men? Suppose this mad impulse within is all wrong, some mock mirage from the untrue?