Interview: Graham Russell Gao Hodges

David Ruggles (1810-1849) was one of the most heroic–and has been one of the most often overlooked–figures of the early abolitionist movement in America. Graham Russell Gao Hodges provides the first biography of this African American activist, writer, and publisher who secured liberty for more than six hundred former bond people, including Frederick Douglass. Hodges’s… Continue Reading Interview: Graham Russell Gao Hodges

“We Are Standing on Beautiful History”

Today we welcome a guest post from Tiya Miles, author of The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story. Last weekend she attended a gathering to celebrate the historic plantation home and held a signing event for her new book. Over the course of her day, past and present were juxtaposed in an experience… Continue Reading “We Are Standing on Beautiful History”

Slavery and the NBA?

I have been frustrated by this week’s back-and-forth between the Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and civil rights veteran Jesse Jackson. Don’t get me wrong; Dan Gilbert’s letter smacked of grating paternalism; he spoke of James like a petulant child, rather than a man who had more than fulfilled his seven-year contract. His tone was… Continue Reading Slavery and the NBA?

Confederate History Month and the Politics of Memory

We welcome a guest post today from Anne E. Marshall, author of Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State, which we’ll publish in December 2010. The book traces the development of a Confederate identity in Kentucky between 1865 and 1925 that belied the fact that Kentucky never… Continue Reading Confederate History Month and the Politics of Memory

Upcoming events: UNC wins NCAA championship, etc.

The Tar Heels are on order by the Commander in Chief to win the NCAA tourney tonight. Go Heels!! Here’s a preview of tonight’s celebration on Franklin Street. This video was shot on Saturday, when the Tar Heels beat Villanova in the final four. Hopefully any potential thunderstorms and tornadoes will happen sooner rather than… Continue Reading Upcoming events: UNC wins NCAA championship, etc.

Dorothy Spruill Redford on WUNC’s “The State of Things”

In 1860 one of the largest and most successful plantations in North Carolina was Somerset Place. In the course of becoming one of the state’s most prosperous rice, corn, and wheat plantations, the plantation’s owner, Josiah Collins, became one of the largest slaveholders in the state. Somerset Place covered as many as 100,000 acres and… Continue Reading Dorothy Spruill Redford on WUNC’s “The State of Things”

Charles Irons on Today’s State of Things

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called 11 a.m. Sunday mornings “the most segregated hour of the week.” Even today, integrated churches are the exception, not the rule. But that wasn’t always the case. In the colonial and antebellum South, black and white evangelicals frequently prayed, sang, and worshipped together. In The Origins of Proslavery Christianity:… Continue Reading Charles Irons on Today’s State of Things

Today in history: the 14th Amendment takes effect

On July 28, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect, after the required 28 states had ratified the bill that was propsed in 1866. The amendment guaranteed due process and the equal protection of the laws to former slaves. This was one of three “Reconstruction Amendments” meant to restructure the… Continue Reading Today in history: the 14th Amendment takes effect