Continuing our conversation around the nature of the antebellum Southern slave society, and the labels of war and tragedy, I've decided to dip into an area I've long wanted to explore--the morality of Nat Turner's rebellion. While I'm most interested in the moral question--infanticide for instance--and who we label terrorists and who don't, I'm also interested in how Nat Turner's legacy reverberates through history.
In that vein, I'm going to be looking at primary sources, monographs, as well as the creative literature. William Styron's much maligned book (among black authors) will enjoy a place here, as well as the critical response.
This is all a part of my forthcoming book project. But it's also about my curiosity. As it stands I'm going to start with Eric Foner's anthology of sources (some contemporary, some not) Nat Turner. I'll likely go from there to Fires of Jubilee. At any rate, I wanted to lay this out just in case anyone wanted to come along for the ride. As Biggie would say, "C'mon if you're coming."
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power