Sidestepping the role of slavery

To mark the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Civil War, some groups in the South are planning big parties.

They’ll hold a joyous “secession ball” in the former slave port of Charleston, S.C., the first state to secede from the Union. They’re organizing a parade in Montgomery, Ala., and a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.

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