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The Black Confederate Myth and its Legacy Zoom with Kevin Levin

By Madelyne VanHemert

On Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 11:10 a.m. Vol State will host a Zoom meeting with author and historian Kevin Levin about the Black Confederate Myth. 

This meeting is in honor of and part of Black History Month at Vol State. 

The Black Confederate Myth has been dubbed “The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth.” The Zoom will provide proper education regarding this rumor. 

The book that will be referenced is “Searching for Black Confederates, The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth,” by Kevin Levin. 

The myth is summed up as such: “More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, scores of websites, articles, and organizations repeat claims that anywhere between 500 and 100,000 free and enslaved African Americans fought willingly as soldiers in the Confederate army,” said Levin. 

The misconception is that the enslaved African Americans even fought, much less willingly. The reality that Levin discusses is that African Americans were not soldiers and were more so personal servants and laborers, never mind the “willing” part. 

There is no denying there were African American men present in the Confederacy forces. Where the controversy begins is how individuals label African Americans’ position in the army. A “soldier” versus a slave. 

This myth gained fire 50 years ago, sometime in the 1970s, meaning this rumor gained attention a little over 100 years after the Civil War. “The notion of widespread black combat service has only arisen within the past 25 years or so, long past the life-span of real veterans from either side, who would have immediately denied its legitimacy,” said Sam Smith.

All of these points are investigated by Levin in his novel and will be discussed in the Zoom. 

If you are unable to make the Zoom click here if you would like to order Levin’s book from Barnes and Noble. 

Happy Black History Month from The Settler at Vol State!

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