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!

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

An open letter to White people who tire of hearing about slavery when they visit slave plantations: especially Suzanne Sherman.

This is brilliant. Read, learn, and look history in the face.

The Negro Subversive

Dear Ms. Sherman,

When I read your reflection in The American Conservative I was so sorry to hear that you had mistaken the museum at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for a monument to the Declaration of Independence. This mistake clearly caused much despair to you, and I suspect, to your unwitting children, who later found themselves flung headfirst into the depths of their mother’s folly before a crowd of annoyed weekenders. And so, though it was due to your own mistake, I offer you my sympathy and am glad to hear, for the sake of your emotional well-being, that out of the glare of national attention, on a lesser known property, Jefferson’s Poplar forest estate, you were able to receive the version of history which you most preferred. For the sake of people like you, if it would not be such a terribly expensive endeavor, mental health professionals might find it…

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Clapping Back: West Virginians and the Power of Social Media

Geo-map-USA-West-VirginiaLast night, as hilarious memes of Chris Christie at Donald Trump’s press conference circulated on social media, the Daily Show tweeted the following:

It’s one of a genre of “jokes” about the state that comedians have relied on for decades for a cheap laugh. Before social media, about all West Virginians could do was shake their heads and express their frustrations among family and friends.

Not any more.  Social media has changed the rules of the game.  People from the state may not have the national audience that Trevor Noah has, but they can certainly clap back when it’s called for.  And boy, did they clap back.

And then my own:

I may not agree with all of my West Virginia kin on a variety of topics, but I’m pretty sure we are all in agreement that it’s time to put this worn out excuse for “funny” to bed.

Southern Slayer: Beyoncé’s “Formation”

Unless you were living under a rock or don’t pay attention to such things, Beyoncé released a new song yesterday called “Formation.” The southern setting (New Orleans), Bey’s reference to her roots in the Deep South (Alabama and Louisiana), the entire song’s southernnass is all there, layer upon layer. Some call the song “gritty” and ask if Bey is an “activist.” And hashtags for days. #ISlay #sheslay #hotsauceswag and #RedLobster

As a southerner and a southernist I am excited by this song and video, but I can’t do it the justice it deserves.  So, I am relying on the rich voices of others–black and feminist–to break it down for you. About its message and meaning and layers and importance. It’s a pop culture moment for the South, but so much more.

Read Zandria Robinson’s thoughts on “Formation” on New South Negress and in Rolling Stone. Regina Bradley writes about it at Red Clay Scholar. Both Drs. Bradley and Robinson also appear in a piece about “Formation” on NPR. And from New Awlins, Dr. Yaba Blay on Colorlines.

Read Awesomely Luvvie’s post, too.  She’s a humorist, but she’s making some salient points, too.

And, by all means, watch this video: