Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reminder: History is Complicated

New England’s hidden history - The Boston Globe:
Detail from Brian Stauffer's
illustration for the Boston Globe

As the nation prepares to mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War in 2011, with commemorations that reinforce the North/South divide, researchers are offering uncomfortable answers to that question, unearthing more and more of the hidden stories of New England slavery — its brutality, its staying power, and its silent presence in the very places that have become synonymous with freedom. With the markers of slavery forgotten even as they lurk beneath our feet — from graveyards to historic homes, from Lexington and Concord to the halls of Harvard University — historians say it is time to radically rewrite America’s slavery story to include its buried history in New England.
As a "Yankee" (hate that term, rather be called a "carpetbagger") living in the South, it's helpful and humbling to remember not all in the North were noble heroes, just as not all in the South were wicked degenerates.

On a related note, I heard a story on NPR the other day (it may have been a week or a month ago), and now can't find the link for it, but it was about North Carolina's internal divisions with regard to slavery and the Confederacy. I thought I might find the information at the NC Museum of History site, but am not seeing it.

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