In October, on the same weekend of the devastation brought by Hurricane Matthew, I was at the Association for the Study of African-American Life & History conference held in Richmond. It was a great program organized by many and overseen by Dr. Evelyn Higginbottham and Sylvia Cyrus.
As a part of my official duties, I was asked to sit on a panel discussing the preservation of historic sites that relate to people of African descent. Of course, many places do. The NPS presenters focused on what it is that the agency does to help in the preservation of these places.
Before we spoke, John W. Franklin (son of the well-known John Hope Franklin) and former NPS director Robert “Bob” Stanton spoke. To catch us all, you can watch online.
Back in August I gave a talk about the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, more commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. You can click here to view it online by clicking here.
Marriage of a colored soldier at Vicksburg by Chaplain Warren of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Library of Congress.
Pat Young asked about sources for further reading. Among the secondary sources are:
- Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller, eds., The Freedmen’s Bureau and Reconstruction.
- Mary J. Farmer-Kaiser, Freedwomen and the Freedmen’s Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation.
- William L. Richter, Overreached on All Sides: The Freedmen’s Bureau Administrators in Texas, 1865-1868.
- Paul Cimbala, Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865-1870.
- And while not a book solely about the Bureau, I feel like I must include Heather Andrea Williams’ Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery.
You can help genealogists and historians by joining the transcription project. You can read more about that by clicking here.
First, let me apologize for the lack of posts. I had an idea prepared but real life made me reconsider posting. In fact, blogging in general has gone in a direction that I’m not interested in. So the posts will be much more infrequent which inevitably will mean some of you will forget about the blog. I am sorry about that.
That said, back in August I was on a panel with several other folks regarding an assessment of the Civil War 150th. I will maintain that I am tired of the narrative that the 150th was a “failure” simply because each event didn’t have 50,000 people at them. The 150th commemorations varied in scale, places, and indeed more people saw more about the Civil War than they did during the centennial. I know for one, no one in my family attended anything during the 1960s commemorations when they were still attending segregated schools in Southside Virginia. Yet, members of my family did join me on some programs during the 150th.
The 2011-15 commemorations and promotion had the benefit of not only print media and word of mouth, but social media platforms online.
The link to the conversation can be found here: http://www.c-span.org/video/?327502-2/discussion-evaluating-sesquicentennial and I welcome any sane feedback.