Friday, April 5, 2019
Reconstruction documentary poster

PBS will broadcast Henry Louis Gates’ documentary “Reconstruction: America after the Civil War” on Tuesday, April 9 and 16, and Karen Cox of the History Department is interviewed in the film. Her segment appears in the fourth hour of the series, scheduled to air at 10 p.m., April 16.

Cox noted the documentary is important to understanding the nation and democracy.

“The battle for the rights of citizenship for African Americans has been constant. The Civil Rights movement, sometimes referred to as the ‘Second Reconstruction,’ had to revisit voting rights provided by the 15th amendment, which was ratified in 1870. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was meant to insure rights won during Reconstruction, is now under attack again through attempts at voter suppression. That's why this documentary is so prescient. It reminds us that history is not just about studying the past for the past's sake,” explained Cox.

In the film, Cox highlights the ways in which Southern white women sought to vindicate the Confederacy, which included erecting hundreds of memorials across the region, and in some cases, outside the South.