Charleston syllabus : readings on race, racism, and racial violence

Format: Print Book 2016
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On June 17, 2015, a white supremacist entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and sat with some of its parishioners during a Wednesday night Bible study session. An hour later, he began expressing his hatred for African Americans, and soon after, he shot nine church members dead, the church's pastor and South Carolina state senator, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, among them. The ensuing manhunt for the shooter and investigation of his motives revealed his beliefs in white supremacy and reopened debates about racial conflict, southern identity,systemic racism, civil rights, and the African American church as an institution.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Professors Chad Williams, Kidada Williams, and Keisha N. Blain sought a way to put the murder-and the subsequent debates about it in the media-in the context of America's tumultuous history of race relations and racial violence on a global scale. They created the Charleston Syllabus on June 19, starting it as a hashtag on Twitter linking to scholarly works on the myriad of issues related to the murder. The syllabus's popularity exploded and is already being used as a key resource in discussions of the event.

Charleston Syllabus is a reader-a collection of new essays and columns published in the wake of the massacre, along with selected excerpts from key existing scholarly books and general-interest articles. The collection draws from a variety of disciplines-history, sociology, urban studies, law, critical race theory-and includes a selected and annotated bibliography for further reading, drawing from such texts as the Confederate constitution, South Carolina's secession declaration, songs, poetry, slave narratives, and literacy texts. As timely as it is necessary, the book will be a valuable resource for understanding the roots of American systemic racism, white privilege, the uses and abuses of the Confederate flag and its ideals, the black church as a foundation for civil rights activity and state violence against such activity, and critical whiteness studies.
Slavery, survival, and community building / Kidada E. Williams
"An address to the slaves of the United States" / Henry Highland Garnet
From Life and adventures of Charles Ball / Charles Ball
From Incidents in the life of a slave girl / Harriet Jacobs
"Roll Jordan roll" / adapted by Nicholas Britell
"I've been in the storm so long," "Before Charleston's church shooting, a long history of attacks" / Douglas R. Egerton
"The first attack on Charleston's AME Church" / Maurie McInnis
From "'Sweet dreams of freedom' : freedwomen's reconstruction of life and labor in lowcountry South Carolina" / Leslie Schwalm
From Soul by soul : life inside the antebellum slave market / Walter Johnson
From Saltwater slavery : a middle passage from Africa to American diaspora / Stephanie E. Smallwood
From In the shadow of slavery : African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863 / Leslie M. Harris
Religious life, spirituality, and racial identity / Keisha N. Blain
From Religious experience and journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee, giving an account of her call to preach the gospel / Jarena Lee
"Amazing grace" / John Newton
"Love and terror in the Black church" / Michael Eric Dyson
"The long and proud history of Charleston's AME Church" / Manisha Sinha
"The condition of Black life is one of mourning" / Claudia Rankine
From African American religion : a very short introduction / Eddie S. Glaude
From "Bitter herbs and a lock of hair : recollections of Africa in slave narratives of the Garrisonian era" / Jermaine O. Archer
From Islam in Black America : identity, liberation, and difference in African American Islamic thought / Edward E. Curtis IV
From God's long summer : stories of faith and civil rights / Charles Marsh
From Songs of Zion : the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa / James Campbell
The Civil War and Reconstruction in history and memory / Kidada E. Williams
"Declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of South Carolina from the federal union," From "The Constitution of the Confederate States" / with annotations by Stephanie McCurry
"Corner stone speech" / Alexander H. Stephens
"No more auction block for me" / Gustavus D. Pike
"The Civil Rights Bill" : extracts from a speech delivered in the House of Representatives / Robert Brown Elliot
From "A second Haitian revolution : John Brown, Toussaint Louverture, and the making of the American Civil War" / Matthew Clavin
From Confederate reckoning : power and politics in the Civil War south / Stephanie McCurry
From Black over White : Negro political leadership in South Carolina during Reconstruction / Thomas C. Holt
From To 'joy my freedom : southern Black women's lives and labors after the Civil War / Tera W. Hunter
From Terror in the heart of freedom : citizenship, sexual violence, and the meaning of race in the post-emancipation south / Hannah Rosen
Jim Crow, racial politics, and global White supremacy / Kidada E. Williams
From A red record / Ida B. Wells-Barnett
From Plessy v. Ferguson / Supreme Court of the United States (163 U.S. 537)
"If we must die" / Claude McKay
From "Declaration of the rights of the Negro peoples of the world : the principles of the Universal Negro Improvement Association" / Marcus Garvey and the UNIA
From "The souls of White folk" / W.E.B. Du Bois
"Strange fruit" / Abel Meeropol and Billie Holliday
"Call to the march" / Asa Philip Randolph
"Rhodesian flag, Confederate flag : Roof and the legacies of racial hate" / Benjamin Foldy
From Southern horrors : women and the politics of rape and lynching / Crystal N. Feimster
From "'We are not what we seem' : rethinking Black working-class opposition in the Jim Crow south" / Robin D.G. Kelley
From "'To speak when and where I can' : African American women's political activism in South Carolina in the 1940s and 1950s" / Cherisse Jones-Branch
From The possessive investment in whiteness : how White people profit from identity politics / George Lipsitz
"'Blackness beyond boundaries' : navigating the political economies of global inequality" / Manning Marable
Civil rights and Black power / Chad Williams
"Testimony before the Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey" / Fannie Lou Hamer
"We shall overcome," "Mississippi Goddam" / Nina Simone
"The Black agenda, Gary declaration : Black politics at the crossroads" / National Black Political Convention
"Is it time to reevaluate the church's role in the civil rights movement?" / Robin Blake
"More than a seat on the bus" / Danielle McGuire
From "'Joanne is you and Joanne is me' : a consideration of African American women and the 'Free Joan Little' movement, 1974-75" / Genna Rae McNeil
From "Could history repeat itself? The prospects for a second reconstruction in post-World War II South Carolina" / Robert Korstad
From Up south : civil rights and Black power in Philadelphia / Matthew Countryman
From We will shoot back : armed resistance in the Mississippi freedom movement / Akinyele Omowale Umoja
Contemporary perspectives on race and racial violence / Chad Williams
"Remarks by the president in eulogy for the honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina" / Barack Obama
"The blacker the berry" / Kendrick Lamar
From "Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department" / United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
"Speech on Walter Scott shooting" / Clementa Pinckney
"Black bodies, White terrorism : a global reimagining of forgiveness" / Esther Armah
"Ella taught me : shattering the myth of the leaderless movement" / Barbara Ransby
"On the pole for freedom : Bree Newsome's politics, theory, and theology of resistance" / Brittney Cooper
From Hate thy neighbor : move-in violence and the persistence of racial segregation in housing / Jeannine Bell
From Charleston in Black and White : race and power in the south after the civil rights movement / Steve Estes
From Not even past : Barack Obama and the burden of race / Thomas Sugrue
From "African American women, mass incarceration, and the politics of protection" / Kali Nicole Gross.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This thoroughly remarkable compendium of works about African-American life, edited by the three history professors who started the #CharlestonSyllabus Twitter hashtag, offers solid ground for the oft-requested national conversation about race. Their work firmly connects the dots among slavery, white terror organizations, the Confederate battle flag, and the murders of eight African-American Bible study members in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. The 66 entries, organized first by theme and then chronologically within each section, date back as far as the 18th century and include eyewitness accounts, op-eds, scholarly articles, legal documents, public speeches, and even an occasional poem or lyric. The words of early 19th-century writers Henry Highland Garnet and Jarena Lee, respectively addressing slavery and religious life, sit comfortably alongside thought-provoking, considered responses to the Charleston killings. The book keeps a tight focus on Charleston but still manages to offer a broad account of African-American history, finding space for Islam, women's issues, and global outreach. This solid offshoot of the original online syllabus (a blockbuster bibliographic tool that's also included in this volume) is simply a must-read, both for those already versed in these topics and those just getting started. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Racism -- United States -- History.
African Americans -- History.
United States -- Race relations -- History.
Publisher Athens :The University of Georgia Press,2016
Contributors Williams, Chad Louis, 1976- editor.
Williams, Kidada E., editor.
Blain, Keisha N., 1985- editor.
Language English
Description ix, 351 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 9780820349572
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