[PAST EVENT] States' Rights v. Civil Rights

Friday, May 10th 2013
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Sunday, November 10th 2013
Swem Library, Marshall Gallery, 1st floor Rotunda
400 Landrum Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Conceived as a demonstration of American Cold War consensus, the Civil War centennial revealed how divided the country remained 100 years after Fort Sumter.
Full Description
Conceived as a demonstration of American Cold War consensus, the Civil War centennial, 1961-1965, revealed how divided the country remained 100 years after Fort Sumter. Several states organized impressive centennial observances, with none on so grand a scale or as widely recognized as Virginia's. While the Virginia celebration attracted little controversy and many tourists, at the national level the commercialized brothers war commemoration struck many as a diversion from the key issue of slavery. African Americans' ongoing struggle for civil rights nearly 100 years after abolition contrasted sharply with a celebration that glorified the Confederacy and for the most part ignored African Americans. And when the Centennial Commission scheduled their national assembly at a segregated hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, the papered-over cracks in the American consensus broke open for the world to see.
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