America250 hosted a Community Conversation on The Hornet’s Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War by former President Jimmy Carter on February 24, 2022. The conversation included the complex history of the South during the American Revolution, Jimmy Carter’s perspective on good government, and the experience of enslaved African Americans and Native Americans removed from their homelands. 

The event was moderated by America250 Director of Engagement Dr. Megan Springate. Guest speakers from the National Park Service explored The Hornet’s Nest. The speakers were Jacob Ross, Lead Interpretive Park Ranger at Jimmy Carter National Historical Park in Georgia, and Tawnya Waggle, Interpretive Park Ranger at Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia.

When we reflect on the American Revolution, the crucial role of the South is often overlooked. “Sometime in history, we pull out a few key characters, a few key people in history and then we focus on that narrative,” said Waggle. “A lot of key players are in the North. That is going to skew our perspective and determine what is remembered.” The complexity of the Southern campaign made it “harder to unpack that narrative in a quick history class,” said Ross.

The speakers detailed how the different missions of those involved in the Revolution oppressed enslaved African Americans and Native Americans removed from their homelands. “Traditional narratives have focused exclusively on certain perspectives and stories, and the exclusion of others,” said Waggle. “I hope that moving forward we continue to have these discussions and share the shared history of all Americans.” 

Ross expressed that President Carter’s inspiration for writing The Hornet’s Nest stemmed from his “organic view of government.” “He believes that in our Republic, it is up to each individual citizen to do their best to bring about a good democracy where people are respected as people, where we help each other,” said Ross.

America250 will be hosting Community Conversations regularly through 2026. Join us on March 24, 2022 for our next Community Conversation, “Building Community Through Historic Preservation.” Stay tuned on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

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