In a recent guest post, historian Winifred Maloney recounted the appearance of reenactors from the 54th Massachusetts Infantry—the black unit depicted in the movie Glory—presenting the colors at a Boston Red Sox game. Her thoughtful commentary sparked a comment by a reader that I have been mulling over since: “U.S.C.T. reennactors are praised but white reenactors are usually regarded by the academy with scorn as old, fat, hobbyists.”
I have struggled with this: Is this a contradiction or, even worse, a hypocrisy? Or perhaps it actually has nothing to do with race at all but is, instead, a value judgement on the types of living history events various reenacting groups participate in?
What do you think? Is there a contradiction here or not? Please explain your answer.