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Some books are a revelation.
If you have not heard of the best selling novel, published before the Civil War, that more or less accused Thomas Jefferson of fathering a child, Clotel, with an enslaved woman, then you have learned something about who won Reconstruction. The North won the Civil War, but African Americans lost much of the peace when white Northerners reached out too quickly to the while rebels and slavers.
Heroes - Abolition - Works - African-Americans - Memory
The heroes of abolition and their works, especially those of African-Americans, were pushed out of the memory of the majority. Instead, the focus turned to reconciliation and the “suffering” of the Southern white person after the War. The novelist Thomas Dixon is one example (see The Klansman0 and got the blockbuster early film Birth of a Nation for his horrifically racist whitewash of the pre-Civil War South. The greater man, the enslaved man who escaped, educated himself, and became a public intellectual was pushed to the margins of “mainstream” culture.
William Wells Brown had told the truth about the slavery culture of the Civil War and the nation that elected scientific racist Woodrow Wilson was going to remember his truth. His novel was too powerful, his place as the first published African-American playwrite, and non-fiction writing to be remembered. Woodrow Wilson showed Birth of a Nation in the White House.
Brown - Benefits - Talent - Truth
Brown had only the benefits of talent and the truth.
The push into obscurity of a man who helped recruit American troops to save the Union, William Wells Brown, and Thomas Dixon, a man who praised men who tore down our flag, reveals the racist rebellion that won the popular narrative about the War right through Gone with the Wind.
Brown - History
Let’s read Brown and get our history back.
What of the his novel?
Clotel - Book - Series - Scenes - Truth
Clotel is a brisk book, a series of scenes telling the truth...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Eidos
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