A moving film based on history busts the many myths and misconceptions about the root causes of the American Civil War.
Writer-director Gary Ross, who directed “The Hunger Games,” conducted heavy research to set the record straight in “Free State of Jones,” which released in theaters last June. The film chronicles one white Confederate man’s fight against slavery during the Civil War, as he finds refuge and forms a rebellion to help bring slaves to freedom. Ross breaks down four harmful myths about the Civil War era, some of which the film highlights, in the above video interview with HuffPost Rise. And he expertly slams down any arguments from those who claim that slavery played no role in the rise of the Civil War.
“Yes, this is a myth,” Ross told Rise as he talked about Abraham Lincoln’s fight to preserve the union. “The Civil War was absolutely about slavery.”
Ross goes on to mention three other damaging misconceptions of the era in the Rise interview. He addresses the birth of The Black Codes laws and how they severely restricted the freedom of African-American families. He also highlighted the rise of white supremacists and the role their terrorism played in the dissolution of the Reconstruction era.
“Reconstruction didn’t fail, it was killed,” Ross said. “It ended for many reasons, but probably the most prominent one was a counter revolution of the part of white supremacists that struck back at the freedman.”
“That reign of terror eventually led to the advent of the Jim Crow era,” he added. “To say that Reconstruction perished somehow under its own weight is a myth, it’s a part of history that’s sadly ignored.”
Watch the video above that addresses misconceptions of the Civil War and learn the true events of the era.
The Huffington Post is launching a podcast, hosted by Killer Mike, on Reconstruction later this month. You may have been told that Reconstruction was a brief moment of ill-advised revenge that the North took on the South just after the Civil War. But the real history of Reconstruction is one of great hope and promise amid the violence. Sign up here to know when the podcast goes live and listen along as we explore it all.