Monday, April 26, 2010

Upcoming USCT Symposium Features...Earl Ijames?

The New Bern Historical Society will be hosting a USCT Symposium from May 6-9, 2010.

Featured speakers include Hari Jones, Dr. David Ceselski, Dr. John Haley, and – get this – Earl Ijames, whose lecture is entitled “Myth of Black Confederates?”

Why Ijames would be asked to speak at a symposium on United States Colored Troops is beyond me. Seems kind of inappropriate, but hey – what do I know?

Anyway, check out the website for what should prove to be a very interesting exchange of ideas.

Oh, and the best part? It’s free!


  1. I wish I could attend this symposium, but living in Massachusetts keeps me far from the action. Discussing the roles of blacks in Confederate armies as a part of such a symposium makes sense to me, if just for the sake of contrasts and comparisons. However, Ijames is hardly the person I'd look to for such a discussion. The title of the section, with a question mark, is troubling. He is paired with Asa Gordon, and I'm curious about his take on the subject.

  2. Marc,

    Gordon and Ijames certainly do seem to make strange bedfellows. It should make for an interesting debate and I really wish I could be there. Kevin has posted on this as well and hopefully he'll get someone that attends to let us know what was said. Personally, I'd put my money on Gordon. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Marc,

    I agree that the contrast could be interesting if the questions were properly framed. Unfortunately, as we are all well aware, Ijames is not the person for the job. Beyond Ijames and Gordon I've not heard of any of these speakers.


    Gordon will no doubt do a good job with USCTs, but I have no idea if his background in the scholarly literature puts him in a position where he can respond to Ijames.

  4. Hari Jones is the curator at the African-American Civil War Memorial & Museum in DC. I'm unfamiliar with the other speakers as well. One would think that Richard M. Reid would be on the list since he wrote the book on black troops from North Carolina, but I understand that New Bern is a bit of a hike from Canada. Oh well.