View single post by susansweet
 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 01:04 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420

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Many, many years ago back in the dark ages when I was a college senior majoring in history I was required to take a class in Research in American History. One of the requirements was to read certain books and articles and critique them or take part in a class discussion.
One of the books we read was John Hope Franklin's The Militant South A book that list the factors and causes of the South's agression that contributes to the outbreak of war in 1861. He outlines the idea that the South was dominated by militant white men who resorted to violence if faced with social, personal or political conflict. All of this is backed up with research from newspapers, letters and personal memoirs.

We all read the book and started discussing it in class. Now this was a small college with in the Los Angeles area but with a Southern church background. The arguments were flying back and forth. The professor at some point stopped us and said, Would it help your discussion if you knew the author was a Negro?(this was another time period long long ago). He then pointed out to us how important it is to know your author . To know why he is writing what he is writing and where he is coming from with his writing . I can't tell you how many times since then I have looked up information about the authors of the books I have read to see who the author is.

Just so you know also that book has stuck with me all these years , still makes an impression on me today. I can't remember most of the books I read in my history classes back then but I remember that one . I also do remember always Dr. White's advice to us "know who is writing the book you are reading ."
Just my two cents worth .

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