Tag Archives: Black History Month

The Mountain

 

No Fear

 

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.”

“And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”   April 3, 1968

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Context Does Matter

Critics of the movie “Lincoln” … continue to hammer home a contentious point about the film’s depiction of slavery.  So-called experts are critical of the notion Lincoln freed the slaves(the film never implies this.)    Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for Lincoln or his deeds.  Ignoring context, Douglass is cited as the authoritative critic of Lincoln…. “you (white people) are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children.”

Uncanny

Uncanny

This disingenuous, lazy, line of reasoning…  has created a terrible myth about the creation of the civil rights movement.  Failure to place words in a proper context have terrible implications on historical interpretation.  In the same speech, Frederick Douglass explained to his predominately white audience, his true feelings for Abraham Lincoln:

Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined…. infinite wisdom has seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission than Abraham Lincoln.”  Frederick Douglass  April 14, 1876

The hour and the man of our redemption had met in the person of Abraham Lincoln.”

“The hour and the man of our redemption had met in the person of Abraham Lincoln.”

2 Comments

Filed under Ephemera, Movie Review, News

Wolf by the Ears

Jefferson wrote to John Holmes of the Missouri Compromise- “but this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.”

Wolf by the ears...

Wolf by the ears…

 Missouri’s admission to the Union as a slave state… threatened the tenuous balance- 22 states, 11 with slavery, 11 without.  Missouri was the first territory carved from the Louisiana Purchase to apply for statehood.  Jefferson’s vision of America as a land of small, republican farmers was in danger of devolving further into the plantation gang labor system dominating the tidewater south. 

Henry Clay of Kentucky

Henry Clay of Kentucky

Henry Clay’s solution to the crisis is often reviled… by historians for perpetuating slavery and providing the United States the opportunity to conquer more land.  This New Left interpretation of history overlooks the contributions Clay made to our republic during its formative years.  His American System had revitalized the nation following destructive War of 1812.  Clay had convinced Madison, the National Bank’s most vocal critic, to recharter it in 1816.  He had rewritten the rules of the House of Representatives and established the post of Speaker as the force we know it today.  Firebrands bent on defending slavery at all costs- even peace and prosperity for all- could not be allowed to derail Clay’s vision.  The Missouri Compromise has to be studied from all points of view.

1 Comment

Filed under Ephemera

Providing Proper Context

The success of Spielberg’s “Lincoln” has generated… popular interest in one of America’s most studied figures.  As millions rush booksellers around the country, here is a little guidance to locate the proper studies which can help bring Honest Abe into context:

Donaldcover

Lincoln- 1996:  by David Herbert Donald-  The best single volume biography of Lincoln, period.  Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Donald, brings Lincoln to life by focusing exclusively on the man- not allowing his study to stray as many writers often do.  Lincoln emerges as ambitious, witty, and at times melancholy.  A fair, detailed study of a complex but worthy subject.

WillsCover

Lincoln at Gettysburg; the Words that Remade America-2006: by Garry Wills-  Renowned classicist Garry Wills provides invaluable context to Lincoln’s greatest speech.  Many have memorized the lines, Wills  explains their cultural and intellectual significance to our history.   Few writers have attempted such a detailed and ambitious project.

MillerCover

Lincoln’s Virtues; An Ethical Biography-2003: by William Lee Miller-  How did Lincoln develop the character to guide America through its darkest hour?  Miller’s study delves into the development of Lincoln’s long acknowledged virtues.  Lincoln was not destined to be on our currency, circumstances in his life built the man one moral brick at a time.  Revisionists run from Miller’s book because of his painstaking research and irrefutable logic.

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, News

Context Does Matter

Critics of the movie “Lincoln” … continue to hammer home a contentious point about the film’s depiction of slavery.  So-called experts are critical of the notion Lincoln freed the slaves(the film never implies this.)    Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for Lincoln or his deeds.  Ignoring context, Douglass is cited as the authoritative critic of Lincoln…. “you (white people) are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children.”

Uncanny

Uncanny

This disingenuous, lazy, line of reasoning…  has created a terrible myth about the creation of the civil rights movement.  Failure to place words in a proper context have terrible implications on historical interpretation.  In the same speech, Frederick Douglass explained to his predominately white audience, his true feelings for Abraham Lincoln:

Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined…. infinite wisdom has seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission than Abraham Lincoln.”  Frederick Douglass  April 14, 1876

The hour and the man of our redemption had met in the person of Abraham Lincoln.”

“The hour and the man of our redemption had met in the person of Abraham Lincoln.”

2 Comments

Filed under Ephemera, Movie Review, News

Weekly History News Roundup

John Tyler’s grandchildren are still aliveand they don’t care for Newt Gingrich

Egyptian men hated prostate exams as well…cancer was a plague 2,000 years ago

How should Black History Month be celebrated?… the debate rages on

Zombies are cool right now, but George Washingtoncould have been a “walker”

JFK Air Force One tapes are interesting… but not the Lee Harvey Oswald file

Civil War battlefield preservation is always good news… over 300 acres will be saved near Richmond

These history links will self destruct....open them now!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under News