Monday, April 11, 2011

Chirhart reviews Sitkoff, "Toward Freedom Land"

H-Law has posted this review, by Ann Short Chirhart (Indiana State University), of Harvard Sitkoff, Toward Freedom Land: The Long Struggle for Racial Equality in America (University of Kentucky, 2010).

A taste --
Toward Freedom Land provides a rare opportunity to read Harvard Sitkoff’s key works, his comments on that scholarship, and his description of how he redirected a commitment for social justice to the historical profession. The collection does more than remind us of Sitkoff’s remarkable contributions to American history. Sitkoff, an activist in the 1960s, urges scholars to “acknowledge our own biases” while noting perfect objectivity is impossible (p. 8). Sitkoff’s work represents his own effort “to defy classification” and avoid writing history “to vindicate a preconceived judgment about the past or express a conclusion determined by today’s political considerations” (pp. 7-8). This collection, then, represents his scholarship and commentary on the historiography about race and the civil rights movement as he welcomes continuing debates about the long freedom struggle.
The full review is here.