Me and Jeff Davis are Finis: The Price of Confederate Heritage

Given recent events, I thought this piece might be of value once again.

Pop South

moijefferson-davis-portrait

My journey through the culture of the Lost Cause and what had been (still is?) the cult of Jefferson Davis came full circle years after my initial visit to Beauvoir upon learning about the creation of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library. This project was initiated by the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), which owns and operates the site, and through its lobbying efforts became a financial beneficiary of the State of Mississippi. On their own, the Sons were not successful in their efforts to raise money for the library. In fact, the money they raised was not enough to renovate the house, much less build a presidential library.

The original. The original opened in 1998.

So the Sons lobbied state officials, especially then Governor Kirk Fordice, who confirmed his support for Confederate history during each year of his two terms in office by officially declaring April as Confederate Heritage Month…

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So long, Pop South

All good things must come to an end.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I have retired from writing entries for Pop South.  Over the course of five years, I wrote more than 110 entries and, frankly, could do this full time.  But I teach, and have been writing another book, and now must support it.  I’m also writing on different topics over on my author blog.  Join me there, if you wish.  I plan to maintain this site for the foreseeable future, so that students and others can learn about how the South has been portrayed in American popular culture.

Thanks to all of you who have followed and commented on posts.  It’s been a wonderful experience.

Karen

Call For Papers: Hip Hop Cinema

Red Clay Scholar

From the editor Regina N. Bradley:

Black Camera invites submissions for a Close-Up focusing on hip-hop cinema. Cinema is an underutilized medium for critically engaging how hip-hop sonically and visually experiments with memory, music, and identity to articulate a post–civil rights Black experience. Where earlier representations of hip-hop cinema (such as the Breaking films and Wildstyle) focused on documenting its elemental aesthetics or conceptualizing contemporary black agency and protest (such as the “hood” film era of the early and mid-1990s), there is still room to consider how hip-hop cinema stands as a curator of race, identity, and performance in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This call for submissions looks to break new ground in identifying how film helps visualize and navigate hip-hop’s increasingly ambiguous intersections of race, identity, and commercial appeal. In other words, how does hip-hop cinema redress and/or link critical depictions of Blackness in the…

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Learn more about the Free State of Jones

FSOJ movie editionIt’s an exciting time for historians, especially as we get nearer to the opening of the film “Free State of Jones” on June 24th.  Part of the excitement has been generated by the marketing of the film (including during Game 7 of the NBA Finals!), but also the real sense that the history is being told as carefully as possible through the medium of film, which doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to telling “the true story.”

Below are some links that will assist you in learning more about the story behind the film Free State of Jones.

Author and historian Victoria Bynum’s interview about Jones County, the Civil War, the Knight Company and other interesting facts about the Free State of Jones is available on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

The New York Times calls this a “film with footnotes,” a reference to the intensive research that went into the making of the movie.   Learn about the history in this extensive website that accompanies the movie.

There is an Audible version of the book available on Amazon.  Read about Mahershala Ali’s performance of the book.

You can also read the book!

 

 

 

 

Why I’m excited about the movie “The Free State of Jones”

My friend and fellow historian, Victoria Bynum talks here about The Free State of Jones, the movie that is based on her superb book. Buy the book, watch the film, and learn something new about the Civil War.

Renegade South

by Victoria Bynum, author of The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War

Newton Knight

It’s been forty years since I first saw the name “Newton Knight” in the footnotes of a Civil War history textbook as I headed home for the holidays on a greyhound bus northbound from San Diego to Monterey, California. Since that moment, I have thought about, researched, written, and talked about, the meaning of Jones County, Mississippi’s insurrection to the Civil War Era that our nation still struggles to understand.

Since 1992, I’ve published numerous works on Southern Unionism, opposition to the Confederacy, and the associated Civil War themes of guerrilla networks, women’s participation in home front uprisings, collaboration across racial lines, and retaliatory violence by Confederate militia and home front vigilantes.

I recently had the pleasure to attend a preview screening of The Free State of Jones. The movie fsoj girlsunflinchingly depicts the…

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes at Pop South

changes
As you’ve probably noticed, there have been some changes here at Pop South.  The blog has a new look and the menu has been culled of all the details of my professional work.  I’ve placed that material on my new author website, which I hope you’ll check out and follow.  I’ve got a new book in the works–a true crime story set in 1932 Natchez, Mississippi–that I’ll be blogging about over there.

 

Thank you for your continued support of this blog. I don’t write with as much frequency, but once in awhile I’ll have a flurry of posts, so be on the lookout!

All best to you and yours,

Karen