The governor of Virginia recently referred to the Africans brought to Virginia as slaves in 1619 as “indentured servants.” There was a big difference between slavery and indentured service, and you can see it in the history of my Duncan ancestors in Virginia.
Hanukkah started out as a minor Jewish holiday, with a little dubious history behind it. But now,those eight candles can light the way for all of us.
Historical fiction can bring history to life in ways non-fiction does not.
Leonardo actually tried to invent contact lenses. What he tried didn’t work, but he kept thinking, kept learning, and he keeps amazing us today.
Many Americans seem to think that the vicious racism that has stained our history all happened in the South, the states of the old Confederacy. Not so. Not even close.
When we talk about the heroic journey of myth and story, we’re usually talking about a man’s adventures. A woman’s heroic journey often starts in different circumstances, and it ends differently. And it can be harder to write in historical fiction.
When Martin Luther King was killed, some cynics in my home town said he died for a dues check-off. My home town is Memphis, and I was there in 1968. The dues check-off is an important part of his legacy--one we are likely to lose.
I knew Allan Pinkerton had hired a woman detective just as his agency was getting started. I’ve thought about creating a fictional woman detective working for Pinkerton after the Civil War—but it never occurred to me that he’d hired more than one. Chris Enss, with her excellent book, The Pinks: The First Women Detectives, Operatives [...]
Slavery in the United States was all about business, and it was a complicated and fascinating business, as well as a grim one. The pricing alone is worth a book.
We want to create our own story, and the stories of our ancestors, with pieces of history. Sometimes we call it our heritage. And from Charlottesville to Timbuktu to Hobby Lobby, we fight desperately over control of the pieces, the right to glorify or destroy.