Tuesday night I went to the first part of a four part series sponsored by OLLI and the Riley Institute at Furman. There were probably about 300 people there. This series will discuss the journey from the Civil War, segregation and the Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement and how we move forward.
The list of speakers is impressive, scholars on the south from many places.
600,000 people died in the war or 2% of the population of the country. That would be the equilivant of 6 million people today. Most of the series talked about the fork in the road that happened after the war – the path of Reconciliation or Reconstruction. Reconciliation basically said lets get the south back into the fold and be a unified Union once again. The path to Reconstruction would have focused more on making and enforcing the fundamental changes that needed to happen in the south with regard to race, slavery, farming, education, etc. What a different set of circumstances we might have today if they took the path of Reconstruction.
The speakers were really top notch. What a great opportunity to be able to attend something of this high calibure.