Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


As we walked along the tidal basin back toward the Smithsonian Metro Station, I began to cry. Just a few tears, here and there, welled in my eyes. It wasn't the monument or the quotes. It wasn't the deep feelings I had looking at his face. It was overhearing a simple conversation. Two 30-something black women in a group of tourists were talking to one another about photos.

"You need to get your picture taken, girl," one asks the other.

"Why?" she responds, "I've got plenty of pictures."

"To prove you were here," the first woman responds. [excerpt]


Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public is written by alum and adjunct professor, John Rudy. Each post is his own opinions, musings, discussions, and questions about the Civil War era, public history, historical interpretation, and the future of history. In his own words, it is "a blog talking about how we talk about a war where over 600,000 died, 4 million were freed and a nation forever changed. Meditating on interpretation, both theory and practice, at no charge to you."

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License