My cousins James DeWolf Perry and Katrina Browne have written an opinion piece for CNN entitled “Civil War’s Dirty Secret About Slavery.”

I encourage you to read the article and ponder what James and Katrina have written. It begins

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War, a war that redefined national and regional identities and became an enduring tale of noble resistance in the South and, for the rest of the country, a mighty moral struggle to erase the stain of slavery.

The next four years comprise an opportunity to reconsider myths that have been handed down generation by generation for a century and a half (noble abolitionists from the North versus proud Southerners defending state’s rights). In doing so we may just learn more about the lingering consequences for all of us today. James and Katrina offer a good place to begin.

(James DeWolf Perry and Katrina Browne work at The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery)