Friday, May 31, 2013

Southern History Roundup

"Mississippi Blues trail curriculum launched today," Clarion Ledger, May 6, 2013

A new Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum launched online today will bring the state’s native arts and culture to the classroom by exploring Mississippi history through a Blues Trail lens.

The free 18-lesson curriculum, with an interactive, multi-media resource page, was launched by the Mississippi Arts Commission Monday. With three lessons for each of six core areas — music, meaning, cotton, transportation, civil rights and media — the curriculum is available at>>>

Jakob Schiller, "Civil War Lovers Can’t Leave the Past Behind at Awkward Reenactments," Wired, May 30, 2013

Some of our favorite photographers are ones that bring a fresh eye to a stale topic, which is what Anderson Scott has done with Civil War re-enactors — a favorite subject among photographers. In his recent photo book Whistling Dixie, Scott delves into the American South with a dirty aesthetic and an eye for the strange.

But just like his photos defy our expectations, the events themselves actually caught him by surprise. Scott, a lawyer in Atlanta, was raised in the South, but years spent documenting the Civil War reenactment scene revealed a group of staunch Confederate supporters among the history buffs and hobbyists.>>>

Stefanos Chen, "The Brandon Plantation is scheduled for auction in June," (photo essay) Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2012

The Brandon Plantation, a national historic landmark, dates in part to the 17th century, according to the National Park Service. The main house, pictured here, an English Palladian-style home, was built around 1765 in the Burrowsville area of Virginia, according to Park Service documents. It has been with the Daniel family, a prominent political family, since 1926, when the patriarch and future state senator, Robert Williams Daniel, bought the agricultural estate. The property measures roughly 4,500 acres, and is still used today for farming and timber.>>>

"Slave Cabin Set to Become Centerpiece of New Smithsonian Museum," Smithsonian, May 13, 2013

Point of Pines Plantation on Edisto Island, South Carolina, had more than 170 slaves before the Civil War working in the fields to pick Sea Island cotton. Not much evidence of the slaves’ daily toil exists now, though, except for a couple one-story, dilapidated cabins–the last physical reminders of the brutal and degrading living conditions of the enslaved, as well as an emblem of the strength and endurance of the nearly four million Americans living in bondage by the time of the war.

Today, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) announced the acquisition of one of these 19th-century cabins, which was donated by the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society last month after they received it from the plantation’s current owners. The cabin will travel to its new home at the Smithsonian to preserve the story it stands for.>>>

Alexandra Starr, "Contested State ‘Finding Florida,’ by T. D. Allman," NYT, April 26, 2013

Anyone who has commuted to a Fort Lauderdale beach will be familiar with the journey T. D. Allman describes in “Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State.”Because drawbridges that lead to the ocean’s edge are raised to allow large boats up the inland waterways, highway passengers are almost invariably subjected to long waits. This imposition — and the fact that the people behind steering wheels don’t protest — drives Allman to distraction. “Not one person demands to know: Why is it that the people with boats take precedence over us?” he writes.>>>


Lisa Clark Diller said...

Thanks for sharing these--our history is so fraught with mixed emotions. And not just here in the South. But the tourist aspect of history really does leave me with some bittersweet tastes in my mouth. And it is all Civil War re-enactment all the time, here in Chattanooga right now. So thanks for sharing the ways others are dealing with some of these "awkward moments" in the representation of our history.

Randall said...

I was thinking about the "frought" part as I was putting this together. Southern history does get political, or contentious, just by virtue of the topics and themes.