In a terrible summer often filled with stories about monuments to terrible men, here is a story about an American hero. Build monuments to Robert Smalls.
Originally released on February 10th, 2016.
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* Julia Rovinsky plays Phillip Glass’ Metamorphosis I, from her album Dusk.
* There’s an excerpt from Paul Drescher’s “Casa Vecchia,” from the Mirrors: Other Fire album.
* There’s a chunk of Jose Gonzalez’ “Instrumental” from his Stay in the Shade EP.
* “Manny Returns Home” from Bernard Hermann’s score to The Wrong Man.
* Branka Parlic plays Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush.” Twice.
* “Quiet Fan for SK,” by P.G. Six.
* Things get heavy to “Particles of the Universe (Heartbeats)” from Dan Romer and Ben Zeitlin’s score to Beasts of the Southern Wild.
There’s a lot written about Robert Smalls, with a lot of contradictory information. I found Edward A. Miller’s Gullah Statesman: Robert Smalls from Slavery to Congress particularly useful to sorting it all out.
Some other sources I consulted while researching this piece:
* The Negro’s Civil War: How American Blacks Felt and Acted During the War for the Union by the Don, James McPherson
* From Slavery to Public Service: Robert Smalls, 1839-1915, by Okon Uya.
* And, for what it’s worth, Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief from RFK Jr.’s American Heroes Series is an enjoyable and surprisingly thorough version of the story for young readers, if you’re ever looking for that sort of thing.