Saturday, December 10, 2011

Better Civil War reading

Ta-Nehisi Coates's new article is about claiming the Civil War as black history. He sets up how to this day the war is usually portrayed in the US as a tragedy, not a triumph. And how he hopes that will one day finally change.
For that particular community, for my community, the message has long been clear: the Civil War is a story for white people—acted out by white people, on white people’s terms—in which blacks feature strictly as stock characters and props. We are invited to listen, but never to truly join the narrative, for to speak as the slave would, to say that we are as happy for the Civil War as most Americans are for the Revolutionary War, is to rupture the narrative. Having been tendered such a conditional invitation, we have elected—as most sane people would—to decline.
I found it very useful.


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