Frank Underwood Confronts His Civil War Heritage


Netflix’s premier series House of Cards is a political drama that is raw, exhilarating and downright devious. The lead character, Democratic Party politician Frank Underwood of South Carolina, is easily the most diabolical character I think I’ve ever witnessed on television. Kevin Spacey’s tremendous portrayal of Frank pushes the show to the limit, making it a thrill ride to watch. Each episode features the nastiness of politics than lubricate the gears of the American government. In “Chapter 18″ (season 2, episode 5) politics meets history when Frank confronts the past, coming face to face with his own Civil War heritage…you can imagine my excitement. Continue reading

Connecting Communities through Seeds

Jonathan recently featured a post from a good friend of mine, Jonathan Winskie. For those of you unaware, Joanthan is the red headed menace on the About Me page. His post focuses on heirloom seeds and their ability to forge “metaphoric ‘bridges’” by serving as “vessels to facilitate deep and powerful connections between community members, students and potentially, the future.” Continue reading

Profane Music: Grand Funk Railroad

[Warning: May Contain Elements of Satire and Sarcasm]

In the words of Connie Chastain, I must issue “my apologies in advance for the utter filth of the lyrics posted below the video, but it is necessary for people to understand what is being blasted [by] the VaFlaggers” and their proponents. In one of her more recent posts, Connie sends out the message to the counter protester Goat Gatsby.  Continue reading



Protests and counter protests seem to be lining the streets in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. The protesters: The VA Flaggers, angry that the VMFA removed the Confederate Battle Flag from the outside of the old chapel. Their protest includes waving Chinese made flags in front of the VMFA and crying out, “Return the flag, restore honor.” The counter protesters: a group of college students and locals who vociferously disagree with the use of the Confederate Battle Flag, recognizing it as a symbol of hate. Continue reading

“What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?”

I decided to inhale my lunch today so I could blog this while it was fresh on my mind. On the first day back from Spring Break we, as a class, began our unit on the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. While discussing the States’ Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats) convention in 1948, and the reactions to the decision on Brown v. Board of Education, the students talked about the use of old Civil War symbols. I posed the question, “What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Mean to You?” Continue reading

AMC’s “TURN”: Reviews are Out

If you were like me at nine o’clock last night, then you were probably watching AMC’s new series “TURN.” It is a dramatized television series based on Alexander Rose’s Washington Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring.  I say “based on” because the series draws on the book for inspiration but deviates from historical accounts. The same is suggested by J. L. Bell, the owner and operator of the Boston 1775 blog. In his recent review of the new show, Bell points out that Continue reading

Falling Behind

I have yet to come up with a catchy title for a bullet list of mini-posts as good as Andy Hall’s Canister or Brooks Simpson’s News and Notes. I am also still wrapped up in my incredible experience at the 37th annual Appalachian Studies Association conference at Marshall University. My next several posts will likely be about that experience, but there is a lot that I am neglecting. So, here’s my list of items that do not warrant a full post of their own. Continue reading

Stop Two: Marshall University


Huntington, West Virginia is definitely an interesting town and Marshall University is the crown jewel.  I presented my paper today and received some tremendous feedback from Dr. John Inscoe,  a noted Appalachian Historian.  Now that the pressure is off, I’m going to enjoy the sights and sounds of Huntington and catch  a few sessions.  I’ll post a follow up about my paper at a later date. 

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