“When I was in college I took a year of (what was then called) Afro-American history. The teacher was a very good young black instructor by the name of Dr. Franklin.
The second semester of the course was nearly all devoted to the American Civil War. I recall one of the first things Dr. Franklin said was something like, “You white kids have been told that the Civil War was fought in order to end slavery. You black kids have been told that Lincoln started the Civil War to free the slaves. I’m going to show you that none of that is the truth.” That was my first clue that something was wrong with the way we understand our history.
Some time later a friend of mine who had attended Harvard was discussing Illinois politics with me. He said that underlying all the crookedness Illinois had a proud history; after all he said, “It is the land of Lincoln and Lincoln was the first liberal.” This was an epiphany for me some 30 years ago. ”