Parker Sydnor

I had the honor to attend the unveiling of a Virginia historic highway marker [.pdf] for Parker Sydnor, a freedman and stonecutter in southside Virginia. Sydnor, and his kinswoman Vicey Skipwith, represent something that I found in my own dissertation work—individual people rarely conform to the larger narratives we impose on the past. Skipwith’s story, told … More Parker Sydnor

Historians doing historian things on Confederate monuments is not enough

What I mean by historians doing historian things reflects a conversation I had with my students this week wherein they articulated different approaches to history they’re seeing between my museum studies class and their graduate seminar in American history. Students noticed that the point of the academic book is to foreground an interpretive point—the thesis—and … More Historians doing historian things on Confederate monuments is not enough