Robert E Lee statue with protestors
mythic perspectives, personal essay

White History

I grew up in South Carolina in the 80’s and I distinctly remember a sense of pride in the room of my junior high American History class when we got to the bit about the rebel soldiers from our beloved port city of Charleston firing the first shots of the Civil War. We Southerners were a fiercely independent brand of patriots, we were taught, who weren’t going to let the Yankees living five hundred miles away tell us how to live. Even though my school had more black students than white, it was clear to me even then that nowhere in the concept of “Southerner” was the black experience. I vaguely remember learning about slavery but only in the abstract, as a sort of short-lived cultural relic, a byproduct of that era, just… how things were

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