Monday, March 28, 2016

Aunjanue Ellis calls for Obama to ban Confederate flags from Federal property.

Aunjanue Ellis, an actress known for her role in The Help, is the star of ABC’s Quantico and co-stars in The Birth of a Nation, out on Oct. 7, calls for Obama to ban Confederate flags from Federal buildings.

"... it is time now that Obama sends a bill to Congress outlawing the flag of the KKK and the Confederacy from being flown on all federal property."

Essay about the myth of Southern solidarity for secession

Frank Cocozzelli  had this published.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This is the draft press release which goes out this coming weekend to media, social justice groups, etc. I will be printing it out in the morning and editing

Which Church is Hosting the
Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2016?

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is having their 2016 national convention in Richardson, TX on July 13-17, 2016 Unlike past practice, but as in 2014 the SCV is going into stealth mode and is not announcing at which church their memorial service will be.

A campaign is underway to convince churches in the Dallas, Texas area not to host or lend their facilities to the SCV. A reasonable person would see that it is a racist and extremist organization by any reasonable standard which is documented at The campaign to get churches not to host neo-Confederate groups is documented at and the Facebook page

However certain denominations have past records of hosting neo-Confederate groups.

SOUTHERN BAPTISTS: They hosted the 2014 SCV national convention. It is documented online here. A letter was written to the president of the Southern Baptists and copied to all 60 plus board members. There was no reply.  A letter was recently sent to the head of the Southern Baptists in Texas and all the board members and hopefully there will some response. Correspondence online at

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: Historically they have frequently hosted SCV events.  (See enclosed Bar Graph.) In 2014 the former Bishop of Dallas was written but there was no reply. A letter was recently sent to Bishop Ferrell and hopefully there will be a reply. Correspondence online at

EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Historically they have frequently hosted SCV events (See enclosed Bar Graph). In 2014 the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas was written and the reply was that he didn’t know of any church hosting the SCV, but he didn’t say that a church wouldn’t. Bill Murchison, contributor to Southern Partisan and former board member of the Texas League of the South is influential in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. A follow up letter has been sent to Bishop Summer and hopefully there will be a more definitive reply. Correspondence online at

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: They haven’t hosted too many SCV events, but many of their churches host SCV monthly meetings (See enclosed Excel sheet). The UMC has hosted national events for the United Daughters of the Confederacy repeatedly despite correspondence asking them not to.
The North Texas Conference Bishop McKee was written to in 2014, recently a follow up letter has been sent and hopefully there will be a reply.  Correspondence online at

PRESBYTERIAN USA:  They are in the top four of hosting national neo-Confederate convention events. (See enclosed Bar Graph.) The 1st Presbyterian Church in Texarkana, AR, lent their facilities to the Children of the Confederacy national convention in 2015. Presbyterian Voices for Justice has raise the issue (See but it remains to be seen if the Presbyterian USA church will give up the Confederacy. Correspondence in 2014 went unanswered. Hopefully they will respond to a recent letter sent in 2016.   Correspondence online at

OTHER DENOMINATIONS: From the Bar Graphs you can see that other denominations have also hosted neo-Confederate events. Additionally certain Christian Reconstructionist groups and reactionary Presbyterian denominations have had an affinity for the Confederacy.

The article, "The US Civil War as A Theological War: Confederate Christian Nationalism and the League of the South," in the Canadian Review of American Studies, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 253-284, describes these conservative denominations. (Available online at:

As some denominations stop hosting neo-Confederate groups others may step in to take their place. Remember it might be your church, ask and find out.


As other religious leaders, denominations, churches and anti-racist groups are written to the correspondence will be online at: Additionally documentation can be sent via Cloud Services to those interested.


Ed Sebesta can be contacted by email at His curriculum vitae is enclosed. He was recently awarded the Spirit of Freedom medal by the African American Civil War Museum and is published by university presses, peer-reviewed academic journals, and Black Commentator.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Good post by Kevin Levin on the remoteness of historians from the public. Won't be able to change it.

Kevin Levin has the following post.

Essentially Levin explains that historians often exist in their hermetically sealed world and are irrelevant.

He doesn't ask though why the things are the way they are. It is limited to a conception that there is a wrong headedness in engaging the public.

But it is a good start, but if it is an end in Levin's thinking it will be for naught.

One reason is that academics don't want to be the targets of neo-Confederate groups. The history is that universities don't defend their academics and often harass academics who are the targets of neo-Confederate groups. I am not going to list all the examples here.

But since Levin can't bring himself to say the word neo-Confederate he won't be able to address one of the reasons that academics avoid engaging the public on these issues.

Also, there is the issue of what advances a career in history. It usually is citations in journals and the number of articles in journals.

It is good that Levin has raised the issue, but he is bound in the same system that produces the behavior that he decries and so he won't be able to change it. He will be unable to look at the root cause and only see a wrong headedness on this specific issue.


Jim Limber was an African American boy that the Davis family kept as a pet and which the neo-Confederate make up stories about. Actually, after the Civil War they handed him off to a Union officer just like someone would dump a cat they no longer could take care of.
Also, you won't find this reported by the Museum of the Confederacy because it would uncomfortably bring up the fact that the Confederacy was about race.
Instead the Museum of the Confederacy will dwell on what the Davis family did for Christmas or Varina's jewelry or any other Confederate trivia that can avoid the issues of race and slavery.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Which Church is hosting the Sons of Confederate Veterans Confederate service in Richardson, Texas?

The counter-campaign against the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) 2016 Reunion is started. There is a Facebook page,

There you can find out what is happening in the counter campaign against the SCV.

The SCV is planning on meeting in Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, TX July 13-16, 2015

This is an article about the racism of the SCV.

What the counter campaign is going to focus on is against churches hosting the SCV.

There is a web page about the whole issue of churches hosting neo-Confederate groups.

And specifically the reunion in Dallas. Richardson is a suburb next to Dallas.


1. Ask your denomination about their stand on hosting neo-Confederate groups. The five leading denominations to do so are: Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian USA, and Southern Baptists. Don't presume your denomination wouldn't because unless it is a historically African American denomination it has likely already done so.

2. Join the Facebook counter campaign page.

3. If you are in the Dallas area and a member of a religious group check that it isn't your church. DON'T PRESUME it isn't.

4. Let others know about the campaign.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Kevin Levin and James I. Robertson and Levin's establishmentarianism

I blog on Kevin Levin because he represents a certain mentality among some Civil War historians.

This is the link to a post of his where he expresses disappointment in James I. Robertson.

The point of the post is valid. The Confederate battle flag was not stolen from the South. Some extremist groups did not seize the Confederate battle flag and give it a a racist meaning that it previously didn't have.

However, what is interesting, and revealing of Levin's blind establishmentarianism is that he is surprised and disappointed at what James I. Robertson has to say about the Confederate battle flag and also that he has "a great deal of respect for Professor Robertson."

"Professor" Robertson interviewed in the Southern Partisan in the 3rd Quarter 1997 issue.  That the Southern Partisan was a neo-Confederate magazine and had a racist agenda he certainly knew about.

In the 3rd Quarter, 1990, Vol. 10 issue of Southern Partisan in a letter to the editor of the Southern Partisan complaining about some comments about him printed in the magazine.

"Such statements, appearing in a publication whose purpose and content I have previously admired, is a disservice to you and a degradation to me."
That's right Roberts "admired" the "purpose and content" of the Southern Partisan, he "admired" the endlessly bigoted Southern Partisan.

 However, you don't need to have access or know about the Southern Partisan magazine to know about Robertson's views. It has been fairly obvious to those who know about Robertson. Or knew about the Civil War Centennial. Why this is a surprise to Levin is a wonder.

Presentation on M.E. Bradford went well

My presentation on M.E. Bradford at the Texas State Historical Association went well. It was the last session so the meeting room wasn't packed, but it had a reasonably good attendance.

The important thing is that I need to continue work on my Bradford manuscript and decide how I am going to move forward.

There are two possibilities.

1. Just work towards publishing a book.

2. Do a series of academic papers and then publish a book.

Bradford's writing is a phantasmagoria of hysterical writings in some of his essays. My one regret that in 20 minutes I had and with the demand to cover all the aspects of his career, I didn't have time for some extended quotes of Bradford's writings. .

One interesting thing about Bradford is that he was enabled and accepted in the field of Southern Studies and paleoconservatism and this says a lot about both.

I am thinking about writing about Southern studies and racism and the term "South" as an ideological construct. So I might expand my scope also.

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