Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2000

Department 1

Civil War Era Studies; Civil War Institute

Department 2



Since his death in 1865 Abraham Lincoln has been universally honored in black America. In many black homes and businesses, his photograph often hangs in honor next to the one of Martin Luther King Jr. But a new book by Ebony editor Lerone Bennett Jr. contends that Lincoln was a crude bigot who told demeaning darky jokes, had an unquenchable thirst for minstrel shows, consistently used the word "nigger," and supported efforts to ship Negroes back to Africa.

As Jack E. White pointed out in a recent Time magazine article, this book largely has been ignored by the mainstream press. The book was not reviewed in The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, or USA Today.

JBHE [Journal of Blacks in Higher Education] asked a group of leading Lincoln scholars for their opinions of the Bennett book and the controversy surrounding its publication. Here are the replies:

Required Publisher's Statement

Original version is available from the publisher: