The Civil War on Morning Edition

More
Here's an interview I did with Steve Inskeep (who has crazy skills) to mark the Atlantic's Civil War issue. You can also read the transcript here. The original article is here.

I'd like to clear up one quick thing. I've gotten some pushback on the following quote:

"If you tour the battle parks and you look at the monuments, they're dotted with monuments to the Confederate dead," he says. "I'm sure there's one somewhere, but I've never seen a monument to any of the colored troops who fought in the Civil War."

Several people have pointed out the monument on the Boston Commons to the 54th, as well as the awesome African-American Civil War Museum and Memorial. I actually did a video discussing the latter which you can see here. 

To be clear, I was discussing my tour of battlefields and the lack of African-American visitors. I was not making an absolute statement i.e. "There are no memorials to blacks in the Civil War in the country." If you check out the audio that section starts with Gettysburg and ends with Petersburg, both of which I visited (and blogged about here and here.) I think in that context, the quote stands up just fine.

With that said, I do wish I'd mentioned the monument at Vicksburg (which I haven't visited) and the Memorial in DC because they are actual examples of what can be achieved. They deserve to be brought into any conversation of African-American memory and the Civil War.

MORE: In my zeal to clarify, I forgot to mention this excellent piece from All Things Considered, featuring our own James Bennet touring the portrait gallery with Michele Norris and a couple of the house historians. Great stuff. Especially Bennet's read on Hawthorne.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In