Black History Reading (6)

The_Peacemakers_1868.jpg
An 1868 painting entitled “The Peace Makers.” (Wikipedia Commons)

Abraham Lincoln was certainly one of the most beloved “Peace Makers” and president of the United States of America. He did, after all, a lot of good and had a lot of good plans for the future of the USA, wanting to hold the Union (or the north and south) together as one nation rather than a separate entity.  Had this not happened, out history books would be quite different.

Many historians credit Lincoln’s nobel attitudes to freeing the slaves of the Confederate South. Nell Painter, however, in her 2007 bookCreating Black American argues otherwise: Initially, she argues that the war was only about keeping the Union together and was not about slavery at all. I am not aware of the historical data and do not have time to research questions regarding this matter to answer my own concerns and thoughts about this issue. Not am I aware of the arguments for this position or against it. But I must admit that I am rather skeptical. I have heard, every now and then, of historians arguing that it was about both slavery and the Union. But, again, I am not sure. So for this topic I would invite my readers to study scholarly resources and find answers to their own questions regarding these matters.

The Union victory ultimately resulted in a national and universal emancipation. This is precisely what both white and black abolitionist have been asking for since the very beginning. The Civil War ended in emancipation. But the question for black freedom continued much later. They would soon face other struggles for the quest of equality and freedom.

Text To Self

I don’t have a lot of time to get too much into my personal feelings about the text, for I spent too much time on my last blog. But I will readily admit that I was not entirely aware of the arguments at hand in regards to Lincoln and his view of slavery. I did, however, recognized before hand that Lincoln likely had many prejudices against blacks which would indefinitely result in some sort of discrimination against blacks. But, indeed, I need to familiarize myself with this aspect of history, for it is likely a point of controversy and is a telling question in the minds of some friends and other admirers of history. It would be good to get my facts straight and know what I am talking about so to communicate good and accurate history.

3 Quotations of Interest 

“Is the war one for Freedom? Then why, tell me, why,
should the wronged and oppressed be debarred from the fight?” (120)

Here, Painter quotes San Francisco black poet and author J. Madison Bell (1826-1902). The poet asks a striking question. “Why can’t we, who want freedom, join in the war that fights for freedom?” It would seem only practical to let them fight, would it not?

“The Lincoln administration edged away from portraying the war as a narrow, white men only contest over union” (121).

“Secessionist established a new country, the Confederate States of America, and elected President Jefferson Davis-a rich planter, a form US senator from Mississippi, and a former US secretary of war” (118).

I was not aware that they literally established an entirely new country. This information was new to ma and entirely interesting to learn about.

(558 words)

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