reflections on race, religion, history & social change

September 27, 2017

Good gracious God!

Looking for a quick and easy way to tell if NFL owners really care about black lives or are just in it for the money? By extension, would you like to know a litmus test for the political maturation of the Euro-American people? When we see THIS just be...

May 30, 2017

Yesterday among the many Memorial Day tributes I saw on social media, I was particularly struck by one from the Reconstruction Era National Monument with a link to a fine article from 2011 by one of our most respected historians, David Blight, about the interracial ori...

November 25, 2016

It's really not about Pilgrims and Indians, y'all. Especially this year, with Natives from all over the continent suffering such brutality in North Dakota, the elementary school version of Thanksgiving just comes across as rank nonsense, doesn't it?

Rather, Lincoln in...

June 24, 2016

Dear United (for the time being) Kingdom,

Greetings from across the pond!

We heard about what happened yesterday, and we wanted to give everybody over there a few words of advice: secession, trying to make a go of it as an independent country after decades of union with...

February 8, 2016

If you're like me, then you often find yourself with an embarrassment of riches in terms of good and important things to read online. Of course, there's a welter of noise to sift through, but in fact the amount of excellent reporting, commentary, and scholarship that's...

October 27, 2015


I'm very proud of my students in South Carolina History who showed their characteristic thoughfulness during a cold and rainy visit today to the Florence National Cemetery and the site of the Florence Stockade, a massive prisoner-of-war camp from the waning days of th...

March 14, 2015

I'm grateful that the Good Men Project picked up my recent essay, first published on this blog, about the burning of Columbia at the end of the Civil War and the enduring power of neo-confederate history. The headlines just keep coming, and issues of race, class, and j...

March 11, 2015

By the time my grandmother—in most other respects a thoughtful, reasonable, and flexible human being—was born in 1916, the orthodoxy among white southerners was simply unquestioned: in the waning days of the Civil War, bloodthirsty, vengeful Gen. William T. Sherman and...

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