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public history



  • Push Confederates Out of Gettysburg for Good

    by Kevin M. Levin

    Why are the forces that fought to preserve slavery, and who invaded the free state of Pennsylvania and kidnapped free Black Americans into slavery in 1863, allowed to march in Gettysburg's Remembrance Day parade? 



  • Monuments to the Unthinkable

    by Clint Smith

    German and European memorials to the Holocaust contrast starkly with an American memorial culture where the Confederate dead are revered, former slave plantations are tourist attractions, and state legislatures are seeking to ban the teaching of the nation's history in full. 



  • Ty Seidule: Confederates Were Traitors

    The naming of military facilties for Confederates was not a project of post-Civil War reconciliation; it was about valorizing and defending segregation in the 20th century, as with 



  • New Virginia Governor's Mansion Tour Doesn't Mention Slavery

    "In a shift from a multi-year effort to tell a more complete history of the mansion, visitors won’t be taken to a building next to the mansion where enslaved workers once slept and toiled. And in two tours on Friday, docents made no mention of slavery at all."



  • New Approach at Montpelier: Let All Voices Rise

    After a controversial battle over how to incorporate the descendants of people enslaved by James Madison, Montpelier is beginning to highlight artifacts—and the process of discovering them—related to the lives of enslaved people at the estate. 



  • Grant for Public History of Natchez, MS Civil Rights Sites

    “This is great news for Natchez,” Mayor Dan Gibson said in a news release. “These grant funds will help greatly in our efforts to better tell the entire history of Natchez to include commemorating our African American historic sites.”



  • Looking Forward to the Semiquincentennial (after Looking Up What That Means)

    by M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska

    Will the observance of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence be a moment of national unity or the moment when a simmering conflict over the nation's history erupts into open conflict? The key lies in using the commemoration to look forward. 



  • The Second Destruction of Tulsa's Black Community

    by Karlos K. Hill

    Photographer Donald Thompson has set out to capture a visual history of Tulsa's Greenwood district, an African American community decimated first by the 1921 race massacre and then by urban renewal in the 1970s. Historian Karlos Hill interviews him about his work. 



  • The Monument Controversy We Aren't Discussing

    by Cynthia C. Prescott

    Outside of the former Confederacy, efforts to replace "Pioneer Mother" statues with depictions of Native American women have sparked a backlash including outright theft.