The Transylvania County Library has been selected as a
programming site for Civil War 150:
Exploring the War and Its Meaning Through the Words of Those Who Lived It, a
national public programming initiative designed to encourage exploration of the
transformative and contested meaning of the Civil War through primary documents
and firsthand accounts. The project is
presented by The Library of America in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman
Institure of American History and is supported by a grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities. Local
support is provided by the Transylvania County Library Foundation and the
Friends of the Library.
The Library will host a panel display, two speakers and show
three Civil War movies during November and December in conjunction with the
Civil War sesquicentennial.
The panel display, Emancipation
and Its Legacies, will be at the library from The display is divided
into five sections: Conflicting Visions of the Future of the United States:
1850–1860; War and Fugitive Slaves: 1861–1862; Emancipation: 1863; The Process
of Emancipation: 1864–1865; and The Legacy of Emancipation: Civil War to Civil
Rights, 1865–1964. The panel display was
developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership
with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and is curated by David
W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of History at Yale University, and Susan F.
Saidenberg, The Gilder Lehrman Institute.
In conjunction with the display the monthly Bag Lunch
presentation on Tuesday, November 18 at noon will be “The Civil War and Aftermath: A
Crisis in American Race Relations” presented by Dr. Gordon McKinney. The program
will discuss the role that African Americans played during the conflict
including as runaways from slavery, as soldiers, as symbols, and as political
actors. The program will also examine the transition to freedom and
the conflicts in American society brought about by these revolutionary changes.
Dr. McKinney is retired professor of history from
Berea College and now lives in Asheville.
He is the author of several books about the Civil War and WNC including,
The Heart of Confederate Appalachia:
Western North Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstructing Appalachia: The Civil War’s Aftermath
black Private, Company I,
On Tuesday, December 2 at noon Dr. Lucinda MacKethan will present “Slave Voices in North
Carolina.” Her program uses the personal narratives,
letters, poetry, and interviews of North Carolina slaves to explore how North
Carolina slaves lived, worked, worshipped and sometimes escaped bondage.
Dr MacKethan is the
Director of Creative Writing at NC State University. She recently retired as Alumni Distinguished
Professor of English at NC State University, where she taught courses primarily
in Southern and African American literature. She is also the author or editor of six books.
Cookies and coffee from Blue Ridge Bakery will be available at both
programs and are provided by the Friends of the Library. The public is invited to bring along a bag
lunch to enjoy during the presentations.
The Civil War movies will
be shown in the Rogow Room on Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm. Popcorn, juice and water will be provided by
the Friends of the Library. Movie
attendees are encouraged to bring their own seat cushion. Films will be:
November 20—“Shenandoah”. In 1863, wealthy Virginia landowner Charlie Anderson (James
Stewart), a man of peace despite his autocratic behavior, steadfastly refuses
to take sides in the Civil War. Bit by bit, Anderson’s isolationism–and his
way of living–is torn apart.
December 4—“Sommersby”. Richard Gere stars as Jack Sommersby, a wealthy landowner who returns to
his small cotton farming town of Vine Hill three years after the Civil War’s
end. The defeated Confederate soldier is ready to resume his past life with his
young wife Laurel (Jodie Foster). Thinking her husband long dead, however,
Laurel has become engaged to Orin Meecham (Bill Pullman), an arrangement she
quickly calls off, enraging and embittering Orin.
December 18—Lincoln”, as the Civil War continues to rage,
America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as
he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the
slaves. This film chronicles the President’s time in office between 1861 and
1865 as he dealt with personal demons and politics during the Civil War.
All events are free and open to the
public. For more information contact
Marcy Thompson at 884-3151 x242 or [email protected].