Atlanta Cyclorama Presents Symposium on Relevance of Civil War on Aug 21
“We are proud to continue our commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War at the Atlanta Cyclorama with a special symposium on the war’s relevance and legacy in today’s world,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We will host a panel of leading experts who will offer their insights and help answer the question, What Shall We Remember? They’ll also participate in a Q&A with the audience. Please join us on Thursday, August 21 at 7 pm for a stimulating evening of lively discourse. The event is free and open to the public.”
What Shall We Remember? The Civil War Today is presented in partnership with the Atlanta History Center. Panel members are:
- William A. Link, Professor of History, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
- Michael Shaffer, Civil War Historian (Kennesaw, GA)
- Hari Jones, Assistant Director & Curator, The African American Civil Memorial and Museum (Washington, D.C)
- Christy S. Coleman, Co-CEO, The American Civil War Center (Richmond, VA)
- Kahlil G. Chism, Education Specialist, The Carter Center (Atlanta, GA)
In 1871, Frederick Douglass gave a speech on Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) at the monument to the Unknown Dead of the Civil War in Arlington Cemetery. His speech included the following excerpt:
If we ought to forget a war which has filled our land with widows and orphans; which has made stumps of men of the very flower of our youth; which has sent them on the journey of life armless, legless, maimed and mutilated; which has piled up a debt heavier than a mountain of gold, swept uncounted thousands of men into bloody graves and planted agony at a million hearthstones — I say, if this war is to be forgotten, I ask, in the name of all things sacred, what shall men remember?
150 years later, we must ask ourselves this important question. As a community and as a nation what of the Civil War shall we remember? How does what we remember impact our present? And how will it influence our future? Panel members will help attendees explore answers to these complex questions.
William A. Link earned his B.A. in history from Davidson College in 1976 and his doctorate in history from the University of Virginia in 1981. For twenty-three years, he was a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, teaching courses in North Carolina history, the history of the American South, and twentieth-century American history.
In 2004, Link became the Richard J. Milbauer chair in history at the University of Florida, replacing longtime chair-holder Bertram Wyatt-Brown. He currently teaches courses in southern history, and supervises or co-supervises a number of graduate students.
William Link’s book, Atlanta: Cradle of the New South: Race and Remembrance in the Civil War’s Aftermath, will be available for purchase in the Atlanta Cyclorama bookstore.
Michael Shaffer is a Civil War historian, newspaper columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, blogger for the Georgia Economic Development Council, and the author of Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War. He holds BA and MA degrees in Military History – Civil War Studies.
Shaffer is an active member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, and Georgia Association of Historians. He serves as president of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County, belongs to the Atlanta Civil War Round Table, is a board member of the River Line Historic Area, and a Civil War consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald. He previously served as Assistant Director of Kennesaw State University’s Civil War Center in Kennesaw, GA before retiring in July, 2014 to pursue research, writing and lecturing.
Hari Jones is the Assistant Director and Curator of African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum. He holds a BA in political science from the University of Oklahoma.
Jones is quickly becoming one of the foremost authorities on the role of African Americans in the Civil War. He presents a refreshing new perspective on the subject and reveals just how extensive and well-organized America’s African descent community was in its efforts to end slavery in league with the Constitution. His knowledge and passion for history are apparent in his lectures. He is a highly sought after lecturer and content adviser for exhibits on African American military service and the Civil War. He was the content developer for the National Park Service (NPS) museum at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Alabama; a content adviser for the American Civil War Center exhibit “Take Our Stand”and a content adviser for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) exhibit “Discovering the Civil War.” Television outlets, including the History Channel, PBS, History Detectives, and NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” have sought his expertise.
Christy S. Coleman is Co-CEO of The American Civil War Center. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees from Hampton University in Williamsburg, VA.
Coleman began her career as living history interpreter at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation while in college and rose through the ranks to become Director of African American Presentations (1994-1996). During this time her team gained international acclaim for their bold and evocative programming. From 1996-1998 she was Director of Women’s History, Religious Studies, and African American History at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
From 1999 to 2005, Coleman served as President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. During her tenure, museum membership grew from 3500 to over 15,000, and she launched a successful $43 million Legacy Campaign.
In 2008, Coleman became Co-CEO of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. The Center was the nation’s first museum to explore the causes, course and legacies of the Civil War from Union, Confederate and African American perspectives.
Kahlil G. Chism received his BA in History and M.Ed. in Secondary Education and Social Studies, both from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He has taught American Studies, U. S. History, U. S. Government, English, and Writing, at both secondary and post-secondary levels.
Currently serving as an Education Specialist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, Chism specializes in professional development training for social studies teachers, seminar facilitation, curriculum writing, document analysis, and historical writing and research.
Chism has written articles and lesson plans for publications such as Social Education, Magazine of History, Cobblestone and The National History Day Curriculum Book as well as a documentary history of the Brown v. Board school desegregation case in The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education, a book published by Wiley & Sons, for Black Issues in Higher Education Magazine.
The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum opened in 1921. The building contains the world’s largest oil painting. The circular painting, known as a “cyclorama,” is 42 feet high X 358 feet long, and depicts the series of conflicts which encompass the Battle of Atlanta. The centerpiece of the two story museum is the Texas, the locomotive that won the Civil War adventure called “The Great Locomotive Chase.” The museum also features uniforms, guns & artillery, maps and other artifacts. Tours of the Cyclorama take place throughout the day and include stadium seating for patrons on a revolving platform which affords a 360° view while they listen to details of the exciting events depicted in the painting.
The Atlanta Cyclorama is conveniently located near downtown Atlanta, in Historic Grant Park, at 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315. For more information and to plan your visit our web site: www.atlantacyclorama.org.
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