Context brings the brightest minds to your living room with perspective-shifting online lectures.
As always, Dr. Bell is informative, and his conversations are always so well researched, presented, and engaging. But this one in particular was so balanced about a very difficult subject that we all approach so gingerly. HIs wonderful sense of humor and perspective about these topics makes it so easy for participants to put forth their views, questions and opinions, and it is a joy to be able to watch them on video even if I cannot participate in real time.
Dr. Richard Bell does it again. American History peeled back and fed to his students in consumable nuggets or "slices of facts" until the picture is crystal clear. This is a thought provoking topic and discussion. The other learners asked some outstanding questions as well. Well Done! I am so glad that I chose to attend this lecture as there are lessons that apply directly to our present day situation. Full political engagement is the only option and beware of the consequences of a compromise!
This well-thought-out and gripping seminar helped me understand concretely how and why, without ever mentioning the word slavery, the original US Constitution was designed to enable the continuance of enslavement, the supremacy of the South over federal politics, and set the stage for the vast inequities driven by racialized politics that continue in this country to this day. Dr. Bell was his usual highly eloquent and brilliant self.
Dr. Bell's presentation presented issues which are not familiar to many of us "non-historians." It stimulated new avenues of thought concerning the Constitution.
I knew about Dr. Bell from his Great Courses program on the history of slavery which was eye opening for this white Southerner who grew up under segregation in Georgia. My grandmother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as Daughters of the Confederacy. The topic of slavery was not one that was ever discussed in our home. The American history courses in high school and college never took up the subject of slavery in the US Constitution. This was a insightful lecture and so logically presented. If I could, I would make this required watching for every high school seniors as well as all college students. I ran across an article in the Washington Post last Sunday and it contained a quote for the historian, Jacob Rader Marcus where he had warned: "A people that is not conscious of its past has no assurance of a future." Dr. Bell has greatly expanded my understanding of the constitution and how to better look at the complexities of our history.