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Denmark Veseys Garden [Read] ➬ Denmark Veseys Garden By Ethan J. Kytle – In the tradition of James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me a deeply researched book that uncovers competing histories of how slavery is remembered in Charleston South Carolina—the heart of DixieA In the tradition of James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me a deeply researched book that uncovers competing histories of how slavery is remembered in Charleston South Carolina—the heart of DixieA book that strikes at the heart of the recent flare ups over Confederate symbols in Charlottesville New Orleans and elsewhere Denmark Vesey’s Garden reveals the deep roots of these controversies Denmark Veseys PDF or and traces them to the heart of slavery in the United States Charleston South Carolina where almost half of the US slave population stepped onto our shores where the first shot at Fort Sumter began the Civil War and where Dylann Roof shot nine people at Emanuel AME Church the congregation of Denmark Vesey a black revolutionary who plotted a massive slave insurrection in As early as former slaveholders and their descendants began working to preserve a romanticized memory of the antebellum South In contrast former slaves their descendants and some white allies have worked to preserve an honest unvarnished account of slavery as the cruel system it wasExamining public rituals controversial monuments and whitewashed historical tourism Denmark Vesey’s Garden tracks these two rival memories from the Civil War all the way to contemporary times where two segregated tourism industries still reflect these opposing impressions of the past exposing a hidden dimension of America’s deep racial divide Denmark Vesey’s Garden joins the small bookshelf of major paradigm shifting new interpretations of slavery’s enduring legacy in the United States.

10 thoughts on “Denmark Veseys Garden

  1. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    Thoughts soon

  2. Sherwood Smith Sherwood Smith says:

    Charleston offers an unusually clear window into the genealogy of social memory It reveals how personal memories of the past coalesced into collective social memory—the aggregation of individual remembrances Neither white nor black Charlestonians could easily forget slavery though some certainly triedThe book begins with a look at the way this memory is mapped over the landscape in statues flags and other symbols that celebrate a myth of the chivalric romantic Lost Cause and suppress how that entire economy was built on the scarred backs of slavesIt begins with Dylann Roof’s recent shooting of nine people in one of Charleston’s oldest churches—after months of careful research punctuated by proud selfies posted on the Internet along with Confederate flags which touched off a firestorm of reaction for and against the many symbols of the Confederacy all over the south from those ever present flags to enormous expensive statuesEarly on the authors’ claim that “modern historians’ near unanimous agreement that slavery was the central cause of the conflict” might be seen as a simplification of the fundamental divide between the Founding Fathers as exemplified in Thomas Jefferson’s belief that the new republic ought to be a nation of yeoman farmers and Alexander Hamilton who saw the republic’s future success lying in manufacturing and trade or industryThe point that most historians I’ve read caution moderns to keep in mind is that slavery was fundamental to Jefferson’s romantic yeoman farm dream for as those early pilgrims and explorers discovered somebody has to do the backbreaking work of turning land into food homes cities And Jefferson was A okay with that work being done by slaves; meanwhile the north was moving firmly away from slavery as it became industrializedThis divide only grew as the republic grew For this book the authors focus in on the history of Charleston which was the largest center of the slave trade They begin with the history of Denmark Vesey a slave who managed to win his freedom in a lottery but who couldn’t afford to free his family Desperate and angry at a system that guaranteed him no justice or rights he organized an uprising that resulted in the arrest of over a hundred slaves many of whom were tortured and thirty four along with Vesey executedThereafter comes a grim history of policing slaves in case of real or even imagined slave risings Slaves could be punished or killed for imagined “crimes”—the only problem being that their labor is lost Slaves outnumbered whites by a margin increasing white fears of slave revolt and so governmentally sanctioned groups as well as local lynch mobs roamed around seeking “uppity” slavesNot all landowners were vicious on the surface Washington Jefferson and Madison all talked up slavery as a benevolent system positing the white male owner as father and slaves as permanent children According to the authors James Henry Hammond after seeing to it that petitions about slavery were declined by the Congressional House of Representatives wrote in a masterpiece of hypocrisy “Our patriarchal scene of domestic servitude is indeed well calculated to awaken the higher and finer feelings of our nature”Easy to feel benevolent when you are waited on hand and foot by silent submissive slavesThat sense of superiority comes to life in the early chapter as the story of the Civil War is summarized from the black Charlestonian point of view ending with snide superior and horrified newspaper accounts of blacks being able to congregate in places that had previous been reserved to whites such as the race track and public parks So began the difficulties of Reconstruction The authors’ careful well documented account can be summed up by the reflection that white politicians were forced to accept that black people could now vote And so the Jim Crow era began as money and effort was spent on erecting monuments to famous Southerners such as Calhoun in salute to the once glorious pastSubseuent chapters illustrate how nostalgia for those gracious and chivalric days before the Civil War lived on after those who lived through it began dying off as for blacks segregation deepened and sharpened—which included divisions among African American citizensThe authors also delve with plentiful personal accounts into the problem of teaching distortion of and erasure of black history Some of the erasure was not due to whites covering up what’s inconvenient in extolling their grand view of the chivalric pre Civil War South many older blacks did not want their progeny hearing about their lives as slaves or poking into their roots deeply buried as they were in slaveryMeanwhile as tourism was on the rise during the early twentieth century tourists were treated to white written fictions about the faithful loyal “mammy” and other sanitized views of the past But counter to those scholars and artists of various sorts began to delve into history to find the truth; the spirituals the blacks sang were hailed as a remarkable form of music in their own right and at least one scholar studied Gullah the slaves’ own language which mixed English and African vocabulary Meanwhile groups rose who performed black music—which included whitesThe authors takes some time with the vexed uestion of how primary sources are handled when gathering information The authors furnish plenty of data on the manner in which early scholars obtained oral accounts from aging former slaves; leading uestions being one issue and another these frail elderly folk out of sheer self preservation telling these white visitors what they wanted to hear and not necessarily the truthThe second half of the book illustrates the difficulties of ending segregation and the cultural and social cost as well as the political and economic spinning out in eddies around symbols such as the portrait of Denmark Vesey to hang in City Hall This struggle in the mid seventies a handful of years after the school system finally agreed that American History from the black point of view might be worth of study exemplified the fractures that reach back to those early days Meanwhile black tourism was on the rise which meant a strong interest in black history which dovetails into celebrations and reenactmentsThe authors wind up the account by bringing it back to Dylann Roof’s cold blooded massacre and Denmark Vesey’s place in history acknowledging that though tour guides now speak frankly about the black’ slave experience—unheard of a decade or two ago—it’s clear that someone like Roof can stand at the terminus of the Middle Passage and not see the site of so much human suffering but a place that once trumpeted the dominance of the whitesIt’s a terrific book academically sound full of uotations from primary sources and indicative of how far the city of Charleston has come but how far it still needs to goThe last third is entirely notes and an impressive bibliographyCopy provided by NetGalley

  3. Porter Broyles Porter Broyles says:

    Five years ago a tragedy occurred in Charleston SC A white supremacist Dylan Roof walked into one of the oldest black churches and murdered 9 people While I had majored in history at college it had been years since I had seriously read history After the shooting the role of the Battle Flag was thrust into the public eye Many living in former Confederate States were claiming that the flag held and older purer understanding than what the media and rest of the Country thought it meant; people claiming that’s real intention had been usurped by White SupremacistI wanted to better understand the subject so I picked up The Confederate Nation 1861 1865 I liked that book but realized that I did not have the knowledge to appreciate or understand its nuisances This created an insatiable appetite for knowledge that has continued to this dayI am not going to say that this is the best book I've ever read but considering the fact that the author starts from the same point that I started trying to understand Dylan Roof and the subseuent controversies I think the author does an excellent job at presenting the myriad of facts and historyThe book focuses on Charleston which adds an element to the story that keeps it fresh and interesting Many of the overarching ideasconcepts I was familiar with but the local flavor adds to it It really takes off when it starts talking about modern Charleston and the imagery thereinAs a person with an interest in flags I particularly enjoyed the history behind this flag

  4. Darcia Helle Darcia Helle says:

    Of the countless books covering the Civil War and slavery many of which I've read I don't know of a single one that so perfectly shows us the humanity and inhumanity of it all from a southern perspective This book is exceptionally well researched and well written It's not at all 'text book dry' but instead comes alive with the sights and sounds of the south The focus is on one city Charleston South Carolina which is essentially where it all began This narrow focus manages to encompass the crux of the war; before during and after Here we see how and why the US came away with two opposing views of what caused this war what we were fighting for and about and what it all means to us today I was born and raised in the Northeast at the time when Black Americans were fighting for euality and desegregation in the south As a young child I didn't know racism was a thing I had no idea that the black family at the table beside us at a restaurant would not have those same rights in a southern town I couldn't fathom such a world as a child and I had no reason to imagine it During my early teens as we learned about the Civil War we were taught without uestion that it was about slavery Then I moved to the south and suddenly I see rebel flags and my children were being taught that the Civil War was about States' rights not slavery In my mind the two issues are essentially the same thing with the southern states wanting the right to own slaves but what do I know? That was my first exposure to the opposing views and I didn't understand it at all This book captures it perfectly from beginning to end showing the struggle from both the white and black perspectives so that I now understand the division in ways I never had beforeThis country is fractured This book gives us tremendous insight into where the fracture began and why it persists The publisher provided me with a review copy via Vine

  5. Jim Marshall Jim Marshall says:

    Denmarck Vesey was a free black man living in antebellum Charleston South Carolina in the 1820’s He had a job and a few resources but he was fiercely angry about the slavery that poisoned the lives of his fellow blacks And so in 1822 he used his meager earnings to buy weapons in the hopes of beginning a slave rebellion that would spread uickly much like the one that John Brown planned 30 years later His small conspiracy was soon discovered however the conspirators were killed and Denmarck Vesey himself was publicly executed But his name and story lived on in Charleston as a cautionary tale to white slave owners and as a model of resistance to the blacks who were to remain in slavery for another 40 years The good white people of antebellum Charleston were not overly endowed with moral intelligence but they could count Blacks most of them slaves outnumbered whites by a factor of nine to one from 1800 until at least emancipation in the low country The idea of an armed slave rebellion was for several reasons a recurring nightmare for the white population especially for those wealthy enough to own slaves First of course that population understood that they would probably lose their lives in such a rebellion But they also knew that they would lose their wealth since most of that wealth was embodied in the slaves that they traded raped and overworked to maintain their life style Slaves in other words not only produced wealth for their owners they were themselves a form of human currency Denmarck Vesey’s Garden is a remarkably insightful and detailed history of slavery as seen through the very specific lens of Charleston’s white and black populations It moves from the late 18th century by which time Charleston had become the largest slave trading center in America through the Civil War when Charleston lost its wealth to Reconstruction the long Jim Crow era the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement all the way to the Obama administration It is a complicated and tortured history but what makes the book worth reading is that it documents how the city’s leaders newspapers intellectuals and citizens spent than 150 years denying that its actual history was real Through multiple acts of willful amnesia erasure and outright deceit the city of Charleston literally whitewashed its fierce commitment to slavery and its long abuse of black citizens Most of Charleston’s history of itself is in other words a carefully crafted fantasy that has in common with Disney World than with the lives people actually lived there The revisionist history began of course with the need for money The Civil War was not kind to Charleston The Union Army never forgot that the war began in the Charleston harbor when Confederate soldiers fired at Fort Sumter or that South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union So it seemed to take special care to attack the city as vigorously as possible Union ships fired on Charleston almost continuously throughout the conflict Houses were burned or otherwise destroyed public buildings and private businesses were left in ruins the slaves were freed and Confederate currency was rendered worthless From the end of the Civil War until the end of Reconstruction in 1876 whites were almost as poor as blacks and were no likely to hold political office than their former slaves All that ended however when Union soldiers left the south—a moment that the south called “Redemption” Blacks were stripped of their right to vote arbitrarily arrested tethered to jobs without compensation as punishment and of course lynched with horrifying freuency But that didn’t solve the money problem To address that issue Charleston had to cast off its reputation as the Wall Street of slave sales and reinvent itself as a “lost cause” theme park Starting in the 1890’s tourism became the major industry Homes were rebuilt sometimes with cheap materials to resemble the look of the Old South Some lucky blacks were hired to serve as token “darkies” in the streets and on the rehabilitated but unproductive plantations They told scripted stories of how happy they had been as slaves and how kindly their masters had treated them The map of the city was changed What was the center of the slave trade the centrally located Ryan’s Market was erased from the city’s grid It had never existed The slave uarters that were a part of every plantation and many of the large houses in town became “carriage houses” Slaves were actually “servants” And the cause of the Civil War was never slavery It was about states’ rights about freedom of choice about honoring community and tradition about old time religion and about protecting and supporting the poor illiterate black people who couldn’t really look out for themselves The revisionist project was the work of many hands In order to protect the young history textbooks had to be re written by southern scholars many of them sons and daughters of confederate veterans who would tell the truth about slavery about the Civil War and later about Jim Crow Newspapers were at pains to make black crime ignorance and sexual danger as visible as possible Tours of the city and the surrounding plantations always emphasized the period before the Civil War In Charleston it was as if history stopped in 1861 Beginning in 1910 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of South Carolina’s secession from the Union white Charleston held its first annual “Secession Ball” at which women dressed in southern belle fashions complete with parasols while men wore plantation era suits and all drank mint juleps in uantity Blacks in white jackets were allowed to serve Some white social clubs nostalgic for the old days of contented slaves sought to revive the musical spirituals that blacks had created in their communities as a stay against despair Those spirituals were in fact beginning to be forgotten because they had seldom been written down and even seldom set to written music So the white clubs learned the words from their servants and wrote down the music as their servants sang them and then gave concerts around town again dressed in plantation chic These social clubs had names of course—the Daughters of the Confederacy the Sons of the Confederacy and perhaps the most chilling the “Children of the Confederacy” In meetings of the latter children beginning at about the age of 8 would be told to memorize answers from “The Confederate Catechism” 2014 a copy of which I was able to easily find on the web This review is going long so I’m only going to uote one uestion and answer“Was slavery the cause of secession or the war?”“No Slavery existed previous to the Constitution and the Union was formed in spite of it Both from the standpoint of the Constitution and sound statesmanship it was not slavery but the vindictive intemperate anti slavery movement that was at the bottom of the troubles The North having formed a union with a lot of States inheriting slavery common honesty dictated that it should respect the institutions of the South or in the case of a change of conscience should secede from the Union But it did neither Having possessed itself of the Federal Government it set up abolition as it’s particular champion made war upon the South freed the Negroes without regard to time or conseuences and held the South as conuered”Over the last ten years roughly corresponding to the election of a black person as president Charleston has become much inclusive in the stories it tells about itself The slave trading center that for a 100 years had never existed can now be visited bus tours can be taken that focus on the African American experience in the city and concerts can now be heard where African Americans themselves sing the spirituals that their forbearers created Still Charleston is a place where one can study how history really is a story that can always be revised This book is a good place to begin that study

  6. Marty Marty says:

    The best educational read I have ever consumed The authors produce factual and detailed revelations of how the narrative of slavery in American history was developedThis novel explains the author's discovery of how the cradle of America's slave imports to the city Charleston South Carolina has a warped and unrecognizable perception of slaveryThey present the origins of slavery and its impact beginning with Denmark Vessy's attempted slave uprising which had fueled the perceptions and fears of African Americans allowing a country of immigrants to turn a blind eye as African American Citizens were never considered since before America was formedThroughout the existence of humanity the dominant cultures write the history to their advantage applauding their victorious battles to honor their dead with speeches of gallantry The American Civil War's Confederate Army lost a war yet its supporters to this day revere its losing Generals with state holidays in Virginia Alabama and Mississippi while never admitting describing or acknowledging Slavery as one of the pillars for the warThe authors repeatedly identify's the US Government's lack of and failure to assist and support the fundamental human rights for African Americans which reveals our current racial problemsThis novel amazingly explains why and how the incredible Gulf of perception and understanding between White American's and African Americans about race in America has developed under the guise of educationPlease complete this novel to develop a better understanding of race in America and pass it on to as many people as possible

  7. Christine Christine says:

    Really good A must read

  8. Anthony Cleveland Anthony Cleveland says:

    A thought provoking work Perhaps a little disjointed at times but overall certainly worth the effort I think I found the summary statements the most influential “We should not be expected to reject our ancestors for their moral failings And we certainly should not be held responsible for their actions This does not give us license however to turn a blind eye to our forebesrs’ flaws or the complexity of the world in which they lived while it is unfair to ask white Americans today to accept blame for the sin of slavery it is entirely reasonable to ask that they understand how its memory and legacies continue to shape the daily experiences of whites and African Americans in very different ways”

  9. Robin Kirk Robin Kirk says:

    It may seem odd to call a book riveting but that's what this is a riveting account of the disputes over memory in Charleston SC Disclaimer I'm interested in the subject But the authors have done an excellent job making their case about the way Lost Cause nostalgia has warped the way we tell stories of the past They bring the history right up to the present day with the murders in Mother Emanuel the decision to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol and continuing controversy over the Calhoun statue To get a deeper sense of the monuments debate this is an essential read

  10. Claudia Claudia says:

    Admittedly this was a difficult book for me to read Not because it isn't well written it is The subject certainly needs to be openly discussed since South Carolina history and other former Confederate states have basically been 'white washed' into a delusion that plantation owners were benevolent paternal figures that worked to civilize the African 'servants' cause they didn't own slaves From the Reconstruction with the Lost Cause that venerated the Confederacy that was only fighting for the state's rights and the staunch supporters of the benevolent good of slavery to the twenty first century and the continued work in eual rights for all the residents That's what is all about the cultural blinders that Charleston and the nearby areas completely encouraged The black slaves were faithful and happy with their antebellum masters That Rhode Island merchants were the ones that brought the slaves to South Carolina plantations which took them in and trained them in various skills that would help eventually help integrate them into southern society Talking about the plantations as gardens That slavery was slowly being erased from the state's history Not the same opinion came from the former slaves and their descendants The festivals that followed their freedom Their true feelings about their 'masters' The truth about what happened in the building which now houses the Old Slave Market Museum The teaching of black history in segregated schools and the Jim Crow laws that piled restrictions onto the African American populationAs the 1960's and the civil rights movement gained momentum the two worlds clashed and are slowly changing Tourists that originally traveled to find the South celebrated by the blockbuster Gone With the Wind eventually wanted to see a truthful memory of Charleston And it's still a work in progress especially since the book starts and ends with the attack performed by Dylann Roof on the congregation of the Emanuel AME Church in 2015An interesting and riveting book that was well researched2020 062

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