The One Sentence
A couple of years ago I got deep into writing a book about D. W. Griffith's epic (and infamous) silent film about the Civil War and Reconstruction: The Birth of a Nation. There has been a ton of work dedicated to the film and the controversy surrounding it in 1915 (the year Griffith released the film) and its legacy. I want to examine the culture of racism that informed the film...to peer not only into the cultural but also the intellectual backdrop of an era that made such a film not only possible, but probable.
But then my focused shifted for a time as I developed and fine-tuned the curriculum for my high school history courses. I decided this year that I have reached the point where I can effectively do both, and so I am firing things up again...this weekend, I'll be doing some reading.
And...I think this calls for celebration. One of my colleagues at school asked me about my project: what it was that I wanted to understand about the man (Griffith) and the film that we didn't already know. I thought my answer sounded like a great line for an introduction. So I quickly wrote it down before I forgot what I had said. And thus - I now have the first sentence written for this latest foray into historical writing.
And no, I'm not going to tell you what I wrote. You'll have to wait for the book :)