Americans have a fascination with their past – not just discussing it, but actually reliving it. And we’re not just talking about your every day Civil War reenactments. There are people reenacting American sports, wars, and even lynchings.
We’re devoting this episode of BackStory to maps – asking how the ways in which Americans have mapped geography illustrate the ways in which Americans have understood themselves socially.
In this hour of BackStory we go beyond the expected pieces of trivia to take a closer look at the War of 1812. On the occasion of its bicentennial, we ask what this now-obscure war did to shape the United States.
In this live performance at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre, the History Guys take on the history of Indians in Virginia.
The following links and documents relate to the BackStory episode “Black and White: The Idea of Racial Purity,” broadcast in January of 2009. You can listen to the entire episode here. Read up on the origins and history of the idea of race. Peruse an excerpt from The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette [...]
Thomas and Sally — Historian Annette Gordon Reed speaks with 18th Century History Guy Peter Onuf about Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings. Reed proposes that historians have come to erroneous conclusions trying to “save” Jefferson’s reputation. Slavery & Science — Historian Daryl Scott discusses rise of scientific racism and how race has [...]
On this episode of BackStory, the History Guys look for the roots of America’s obsession with race, and ask why the line between black and white has remained so bold despite centuries of racial mixing. Were the categories of “black” and “white” already in place when Africans first came to America, and if not, when [...]