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The terms homosexual and heterosexual did not exist during the Civil War; indeed, they would not find their way into common parlance until thirty years after the war ended. However, LGBTQ people did exist. The complicated role of LGBTQ people in the military certainly did not begin with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Using primary documents, letters, and mixed media this program will explore the complex and often misunderstood lives and experiences of same-gender-loving men and women during the Civil War.
“As we continue our commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta we want to make sure we include as many different voices as possible,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We’ll be presenting a panel on LGBTQ relationships during the Civil War on October 5 at 3 pm. This event is free and open to the public. Join us for a discussion about the Civil War and the people living and fighting during that time.”
Same-Gender Loving Men and Women in Blue and Gray – Panel discussion followed by Q&A on Sunday, October 5 at 3 pm. This event is co-sponsored by Georgia Equality and Atlanta Pride. Admission is FREE. Panelists are:
Dr. Leslie M. Harris is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of the award-winning In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863; and co-editor with Ira Berlin of Slavery in New York, which accompanied the groundbreaking New-York Historical Society exhibition of the same name. She recently completed Slavery and Freedom in Savannah, co-edited with Daina Ramey Berry and in collaboration with Telfair Museums of Savannah. Harris is currently working on a number of book projects: including a book on late-twentieth century New Orleans; co-edited volumes on slavery and the university and slavery and sexuality; and two books on slavery and manhood in the antebellum South.
During the Atlanta Cyclorama panel presentation, Dr. Harris will discuss male/female relationships in general during the mid-nineteenth century. She also will talk about the social mores of the times that guided social and intimate behavior.
Stephen Maglott attended Parson’s School of Design while working for the United Nations as a researcher to the UN Commission on Apartheid. After that he worked at the Men Of Color Health Awareness (MOCHA) Project a Rochester, New York based HIV/AIDS prevention and case management program serving the needs of Gay Black Men. MOCHA Project made history when it hosted the first Statewide Summit of Black Gay service providers for NYSBGN, in 2000.
In 2013 Maglott began Ubuntu Biography Project after realizing how few resources exist to pay tribute to the remarkable lives and contributions of SGL/LGBT/Queer men and women of African descent. The project has created biographical tributes to approximately 350 individuals around the world, and is exploring ways that this resource can be used by educators, historians and others.
Maglott is currently Director of Correspondence for State Senator and Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the highest ranking African-American and female leader in New York State Government.
For his part in the Atlanta Cyclorama panel discussion, Maglott will present a case study about a same-gender female relationship between two free African American women, using letters to give information about the context of this relationship.
Michael Amico is PhD candidate in American Studies at Yale University. He is currently writing a dissertation about the love between a chaplain and a major in the American Civil War. His focus on the emotional and psychological experience of the everyday aims to show how their relationship furthered the American political experiment of perpetual union. His book “You Can Tell Just By Looking”: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (co-authored with Michael Bronski and Ann Pellegrini) was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBT Nonfiction.
During the Atlanta Cyclorama panel, Mr. Amico is going to talk about the same-gender relationship between two Union soldiers, one a general and the other an enlisted soldier. He has uncovered letters between these two men, and will talk about his research of the relationship.
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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