**Update: See how some mislead: "I'm now aware that other blogs have also alerted their readers to Kevin's posting of Mr. Ijames's letter, and they see any effort to hold Mr. Ijames accountable for his words or to ask him to present his case as an attempt to silence him."
I think it is safe to assume that this comment is directed at this blog. How utterly false and revealing. Read my post below. I SPECIFICALLY said: "While I can understand why Kevin Levin might disagree with some of Mr. Ijames's conclusions and analysis and while I certainly have no problem with Mr. Levin writing about those disagreements . . ."
My criticism is not with Levin's disagreement or "holding Mr. Ijames accountable" as the comment falsely charges - my problem is Levin's rather transparent point of: 1.) Copying the letter to Mr. Ijames's superior 2.) Making that public 3.) Copying the exchange to his employer.
You'll notice no one who supports Levin's open letter has bothered to answer my questions.
The recent dust up at Civil War Memory over Earl Ijames's research on African-Americans who served in the *Confederate Army raises some questions. While I can understand why Kevin Levin might disagree with some of Mr. Ijames's conclusions and analysis and while I certainly have no problem with Mr. Levin writing about those disagreements, I don't quite understand why Mr. Levin found it necessary to attempt to publicly intimidate Mr. Ijames by posting his "open letter" and copying it to one of Mr. Ijames's superiors. Is this an attempt to silence Mr. Ijames?
Why was it necessary to make the request for Mr. Ijames's research public? Why was it necessary to copy the request to Mr. Ijames's superior? And why was it necessary to condescend to Mr. Ijames by suggesting that his work must be flawed because "he was not trained specifically as a historian?" (This despite the fact that Mr. Ijames is a curator of African-American History at the North Carolina Museum of History and has reserached this topic for 15 years.)
And now Mr. Levin is going to send copies of their exchange to his employer? Why? If this is simply a disagreement and criticism over Mr. Ijames's research and work, then why not write about it, debate it, and have a healthy, robust exchange of information and viewpoints? Again, I ask, is this an attempt to silence Mr. Ijames? And, finallly, since Mr. Levin first criticized Mr. Ijames's work, why won't Mr. Levin accept Mr. Ijames's invitation to debate the subject matter publicly?
(Photograph is of Mr. Earl Ijames )
*Note: Mr. Ijames's research on African Americans in the WBTS is not confined to the Confederacy, as one website notes:
"Earl Ijames, curator of African American history at the N.C. Museum of History, will present a historical vignette about Parker D. Robbins, who fought in the 33rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, during the Civil War. Robbins, one of the state’s free blacks, enlisted in the Union army to help end slavery and win freedom. In 1863 he left his Bertie County farm and traveled to Norfolk, Va., to enlist. Robbins eventually reached the rank of sergeant major."
Mr. Ijames has also worked on the digitization of the NC USCT roster.