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Glory's Non-Issue
By Todd Scurci and Denny Boyle, with comments by Hilary Chadwick and Patrick O'Brien

From a critic's point of view, what is there not to scrutinize when a white, Jewish filmmaker is responsible for a historical film about African-Americans during the Civil War? One which happens to have a brave young Boston Brahmin as the supposed leader of a colored battalion? Surely he does not have the license to create a film based on a heritage with which he has no affinity. Director Ed Zwick was apprehensive with the task and struggled with his entitlement to create such a film...
The Glory Assignment
By Patrick O'Brien

Teaching the Civil War and the racial aspects that accompany the subject can be a tricky endeavor. It is easy for a high school history teacher to fall into a scenario in which the racialism of the Civil War and the time periods before and after are depicted as historically distant and somewhat irrelevant to today. The Civil War, for teachers, is filled with promises and perils. It can be a moment to teach the students about empathy, social justice, and to connect those values with the context of today, or it can reinforce a paternalistic view of race relations, while reinvigorating a racial hierarchy, albeit in a newer, softer, and subtler form. African Americans and the issue of race have been afforded only a marginal presence in...