Online Forum–Black Civil War and Public Memory

Two African American union soldiers, c. 1860-1870 (Library of Congress)
April 24, 2022 to April 28, 2023

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online forum exploring the importance and diversity of Black military families in the nineteenth-century. The online forum will explores the histories of the men, their kin, and communities (in differing ways) to uncover the diversity of lived experiences for Black military families. Organized by Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr., the online roundtable brings together scholars to discuss the intersectionality of race, gender, class, military service, and Black families. The online forum begins on Monday, April 24th, and concludes on Friday, April 28th. The forum will feature contributions from Holly A. Pinheiro, Barbara A. Gannon, Anthony J. Cade II, Hilary Green, and Brandi C. Brimmer.

During the online forum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 6:00AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

About the Organizer

Holly Pinheiro received his doctoral degree from the University of Iowa. He is an Assistant Professor of African American History at Furman University in the History Department. His research focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, and class in the military from 1850 through the 1930s. Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1930s, his research reveals that African American veterans and their families’ military experience were much more fraught. Economic and social instability introduced by military service resonated for years and even generations after soldiers left the battlefield. He has published articles in edited volumes and academic journals, in and outside of the United States. His manuscript, The Families’ Civil War: Northern African American Soldiers and The Fight for Racial Justice, will be released in the summer of 2022. It is under contract with The University of Georgia Press in the UnCivil Wars Series. The manuscript highlights how racism, in and outside of military service, impacted the bodies, economies, family structures, and social spaces of African Americans long after the war ended. He has also started preliminary work for a new monograph that will examine all Pennsylvania born soldiers who trained at Camp William Penn. Follow him on Twitter @PhUsct.

About the Participants

Barbara A. Gannon is an associate professor of history at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She received her B.A. from Emory University, an M.A. from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic (UNC Press, 2011). This book received the Wiley-Silver Prize (University of Mississippi) for the best first book in Civil War History. It also received an honorable mention from the Lincoln Prize (Gilder Lehrman Institute) jury in 2012. She published her second book, Americans Remember their Civil War (Praeger), in 2017.  Her current project concerns the public memory or, more properly, the public erasure of the Battle of Olustee and its casualties. The Union dead remain in a mass grave on the battlefield.

Anthony J. Cade II (AJ) is a retired United States Marine, PhD Candidate at the George Washington University, and military historian with the United States Army Center of Military History. AJ earned his BA with Honors and his first Masters from the University of Maryland. At GW, AJ has already earned a second Masters, and he will graduate with his doctorate in the spring of 2023. His dissertation is focused on the Louisiana Native Guards, the first African American regiments successfully constituted in the Union Army during the Civil War. Additionally, AJ is the author of a number of articles on the subaltern of the war, all of which have shed light on immigrants and African Americans who served in the military. You can follow AJ on twitter @AJCade2nd.



Hilary Green is the James B. Duke Professor of Africana Studies at Davidson College. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is the author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham University Press, 2016).  She is currently writing a second book manuscript exploring how everyday African Americans remembered and commemorated the Civil War from 1863 to the present. In addition, she is the Chief Reader Designate for AP US History, 2022-2023, Digital Media Editor responsible for Muster, the blog for the Journal of Civil War Era, and the co-series editor with J. Brent Morris of the Reconstruction Reconsidered, a University of South Carolina Press book series.



Brandi C. Brimmer is the Morehead-Cain Alumni Associate Professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research recovers poor and working-class Black women’s battles for citizenship during the nineteenth century. She is the author of Claiming Union Widowhood: Race, Respectability, and Poverty in the Post-Emancipation South (Duke University Press, December 2020), which received Honorable Mention for the ABWH Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for the best book in African American Women’s History. Her scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Southern History and the Journal of the Civil War Era. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC-CH, she taught at Morgan State University and Spelman College.

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