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Joy Masoff: History And Education Anti-Hero

October 28, 2010

The AHA’s Executive Director James R. Grossman rightfully calls out both the State of Virginia’s Board of Education and a so-called Virginia history textbook writer, Joy Masoff, for perpetuating falsehoods about black Confederate soldiers. Check out Grossman’s column at the AHA’s blog. In the meantime, here’s the punchline of his story (bolds and underlines mine):

As I worked through chains of text, trying to find documentation for Masoff’s assertion beyond the Sons of Confederate Veterans site, I kept running into the same assertion: “It has been estimated that over 65,000 Southern blacks were in the Confederate ranks.”

Estimated by whom? I tried to find out. A Google search for the string turns up not a single primary source or reputable secondary source. Facebook pages, hobbyists, Confederate apologists quoting one another. Nothing that a teacher would accept from a student research paper as a valid source. This is not providing our children with a model of historical research, use of the Internet, critical thinking, or any other educational goal.

Ridiculous. – TL

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