Paul Harvey, historian of race and religion at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and blogmaster at Religion in American History, shares his thoughts on Spielberg's Lincoln at Religious Dispatches. Here is a taste:
But there is another level to consider here, as well—the civil
religious myths that the film invokes, and the very limited growth in
public understanding of those myths that the film ultimately suggests.
After the emotion evoked by the film subsides, sober consideration
begins here: why, in the supposedly “post-racial” age of Obama, is there
no space in movies to imagine the historical story of African Americans
creating the conditions of their own emancipation?
Is it because in the context of our civil religion of "great white
men who end up doing the right thing," we as a culture cannot yet
imagine such a thing?
Historian Kate Masur, among others, has pointed out that the story historians have dug out of the archives—the story of African American actions which virtually forced enlistment in the army, emancipation, and reconstructing the Union with blacks in the polity—finds almost no place in the film.