Gettysburg College Prof. Scott Hancock recently authored an editorial urging individuals at Civil War commemorations to stop flying Confederate flags. The piece, crafted to generate thoughtful discourse, appeared in the July 23 Huffington Post.
From the Huffington Post:
This July 4th, three Confederate flags appeared outside my house in Gettysburg. It was the first day of the reenactment of the battle at Gettysburg 150 years ago, and some Confederate reenactors walked down the middle of the street carrying the flags. Though they never saw me on my front porch, I was surprised how uncomfortable this display made me.
As a 21st century light-skinned black college professor, I have only the dimmest inkling of how most African Americans 150 years ago experienced racism nearly every day. When Lee's army moved through Pennsylvania towns in 1863, free black women, men, and children confronted the ultimate racism by fighting Confederate soldiers trying to drag them south of the Mason Dixon Line. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of black American citizens were enslaved to the Confederate Army or sold to white southerners who desperately needed more labor.