In response to the efforts of activists around the country in the movement for Black Lives and in opposition to police violence against African Americans, the Journal of the Civil War Era has published a special, free, digital issue of the journal, titled “Race, Politics, and Justice: Selected Articles from the Journal of the Civil War Era.” The special issue will be freely available online at Project Muse through August 2020.
Below is the introduction to the special issue, by editors Kate Masur and Gregory Downs.
Special Issue – Race, Politics, and Justice: Selected Articles from the Journal of the Civil War Era
Uprisings prompted by recent police killings of Black people, like all incidents of racist violence and anti-racist protest, must be understood in the context of their present moment. People also rightly turn to history to understand how we arrived here. The Civil War Era was a critical moment in the long struggle for racial justice. As a small gesture toward making that history more visible, the editors, with support from UNC Press and Project MUSE, are making available via open access a selected set of articles from the Journal of the Civil War Era. The articles, drawn from the journal’s nearly ten years of publishing, emphasize the intertwined histories of African Americans, race, and white supremacy.
We also draw readers’ attention to our freely available online forum from 2017, The Future of Reconstruction Studies. The forum includes essays by Fitzhugh Brundage, Gary Gerstle, Thomas C. Holt, Martha S. Jones, Mark A. Noll, Adrienne Petty, Lisa Tetrault, Elliott West, and Kidada E. Williams, as well as a roundtable on public history moderated by David M. Prior.
In addition to offering these articles, which will remain open through August 2020, we aim to make the journal’s blog, Muster, a venue for reflections on our current moment and its connections to the Civil War Era.
Finally, we wish to amplify the many strong statements of support for activists seeking to challenge the country’s longstanding commitment to white supremacy in policing, as in many parts of U.S. life, including statements by the AHA (endorsed by the Society of Civil War Historians), the OAH, ASALH, NAISA, and LAWCHA.