Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Great Essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It's in the Atlantic and it's called "Why do so few blacks study the civil war?"

It rejects the idea that the war was a tragedy; that is was a result of a failure to compromise, or of misunderstandings, the romanticizing of the gentlemanly southern generals.

Money quote:

For African Americans, war commenced not in 1861, but in 1661, when the Virginia Colony began passing America’s first black codes, the charter documents of a slave society that rendered blacks a permanent servile class and whites a mass aristocracy. They were also a declaration of war.

The final part of Charles Mann's excellent 1493 gives a good overview of the war between Europeans and slaves fought across the Americas.

1 comment:

JPom said...

Thanks for this! What a great essay; "let's get real," indeed.