Dr. Carol Anderson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently wrote an opinion piece in Democracy Docket, a news platform focused on voting rights and elections in the courts. Anderson’s article, “Intimidating Voters Is Nothing New in Georgia, It’s Just Easier Now,” outlines the range of voter intimidation efforts that took place in Georgia in the 2020 election and which have been made even easier through new laws in the lead up to the 2024 election. The article offers historical context, as well, as Anderson draws parallels to earlier eras of voter suppression. Read a quote from the piece below along with the full article.
“In December 2020, just weeks before a historic U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia, True the Vote, a Texas-based right-wing group, challenged the voter registration of more than 250,000 Georgians, ‘offered a $1 million bounty and recruited Navy SEALs to oversee polling places,’ hoping that enough Americans would be purged from the rolls less than a month before a key election that would decide control of the Senate.
“This was not the first time that the organization pulled a stunt like this. True the Vote had already received brushback pitches from the Department of Justice and authorities in Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin for submitting unverifiable lists, demanding the removal of voters even though a federal election loomed and intimidating voters. Indeed, True the Vote suggested that intimidation was key to its strategy. Earlier it had told its volunteers that the goal was to give voters a feeling ‘like driving and seeing the police following you.’ In short, to replicate the terror of ‘Voting while Black.'”
Sixth-year doctoral candidate Robert Billups, who is currently the 2023–2024 Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded National Fellow in Technology and Democracy for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently authored a reflection about his research on the global dimensions of anti-semitism for Emory’s Tam Institute for Jewish Studies (TIJS). Billups recounts how a story heard in his childhood home of Meridian, Mississippi, about the attempted bombing of a local temple led him to research in Emory’s archives and, ultimately, to discern links between anti-Black racial violence and anti-semitism among right-wing extremists. Billups realized those links had global dimensions, as well, and secured financial support from the TIJS to conduct research abroad. With the counsel and support of Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, Billups chose to pursue his inquiry in the British Foreign Office in London, which contained mid-20th century records from officials in British consulates and embassies around the world worried about the resurgence of fascism and antisemitism. Read Billups’ full reflection here: “Graduate Student Researches Antisemitism at the British Archives.”
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery, Cahoon Family Professor of American History and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, helped to organize a teach-in on the quad with the Muscogee Nation in late October of 2023. The event included storytelling, hymn singing, a stomp dance led by Rev. and Mekko (or “traditional leader”) Chebon Kernell, and a conversation with Muscogee artist Johnnie Diacon.
“‘The partnership and sense of exchange — trust building and shared learning — is growing between Emory and the Muscogee Nation. The teach-in adds a dimension of responsibility and relationship that builds on Emory’s Land Acknowledgment Statement.’
“The teach-in will not only edify; it will heal. ‘We are in need of the healing that this return of the Muscogee people to their homelands facilitates,’ Lowery says. ‘The Nation is leading us in the way that they use education as a healing force.'”
Dr. Carol Anderson was recently a guest on an episode of WABE’s “A Closer Look” with Rose Scott centered on a new documentary about the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre. Titled (re)Defining History: Uncovering The 1906 Atlanta Race Massacreand produced by WABE studios, the documentary tells the story of one of the deadliest outbreaks of racial violence in United States history. In her conversation with Scott, Anderson discusses the history of other race massacres in America’s past. Anderson is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department. Listen to the episode here: “New documentary explores untold story of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre.”
Dr. Carol Anderson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies, was recently a featured guest on the WBUR podcast “The Gun Machine,” which charts the development of the gun industry in the United States. Anderson discusses insights from her most recent book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally-Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Read a summary of the episode below and listen to the conversation in full here: “Fear sells guns. Here’s how that culture was created.”
Gun advertising is all about mistrust and the need to carry a gun for self-protection. But protection from whom?
The first European settlers wielded firearms to control enslaved people and fight Native people. Later, during Reconstruction, white Southerners afraid of losing their place in the new status quo picked up arms, not only for self-defense and to enact racist terror, but as a totem against imagined threats — sowing the roots of what guns represent to many people today.
In turn, this legacy of racism has long compelled some Americans of color to arm themselves. In 2020, five million Americans bought guns for the first time, including a record number of Black Americans.
In episode two of The Gun Machine, host Alain Stephens talks to historian Carol Anderson about the racist roots of the Second Amendment and travels down to Florida to attend the Pew Party. There, he talks to Black gun owners about why they carry, examining the link between our nation’s fraught history and why it’s so easy to sell us guns today.
Emory Journalism Professor Hank Klibanoff, who heads the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project at Emory and is also Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently featured in an article about the shifting format and programming of the 75-year-old Atlanta NPR affiliate, WABE. Published in the Atlanta Jewish Times, the article discusses how Klibanoff’s renowned podcast, “Buried Truths,” has helped to carry WABE into a vital, digitally-oriented next chapter. A native of the small Jewish community of Florence, Alabama, Klibanoff’s work as a journalist and advocate for racial justice has received extensive recognition, including through a Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award and a seat on the Presidential commission on racial justice. Read an excerpt of the AJT article below, along with the full piece here: “Klibanoff, Reitzes Lead WABE into a Digital Future.”
“When Hank Klibanoff won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for a book on journalism in the Deep South of the 1950s, he felt he might achieve a certain amount of fame and a boost to his professional reputation. Maybe, he thought, he might be able to make some money off the nonfiction award winner.
“‘It was good recognition,’ Klibanoff says. ‘It won a Pulitzer Prize, for goodness sakes, and you feel if you sell 30,000 copies of the book you’ve accomplished something, but even at that, I didn’t make a nickel from it, not even over several years.’
“But Klibanoff, who grew up in the small Jewish community of Florence, Ala., before his long and successful career in journalism, was destined for stardom. It would not come in newspapers or the publishing world he knew so well, but on the radio and in the rapidly growing world of podcasts — something he knew little about.”
Professor Hank Klibanoff, Director of the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently contributed to the identification of two of the at least nine unknown Black victims of the 1906 Atlanta Race Massacre. The two victims, Stinson Ferguson, 25, and 13-year-old Marshall Carter, were among 25 Black Atlantans killed by a massive white mob in one of Georgia’s bloodiest, yet least remembered, outbursts of collective racial violence. The revelation coincided with the 117th anniversary of the massacre. Klibanoff and staff from the Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project worked alongside the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society on the effort to identify the unknown victims. Read more about this project here:
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, recently published an op-ed in The New York Times. Titled “Want to Fight Antisemitism? Embrace Jewish Traditions,” the piece endorses combating antisemitism through an embrace of core tenets of Judaism itself, including (as Lipstadt writes) “its values, its moral teachings, its pursuit of justice.” Ambassador Lipstadt advances this argument in her role as the U.S. State Department’s special envoy to combat antisemitism and in the midst of a surge in antisemitic violence across the globe. Read an excerpt from TtheNew York Times article below, along with the full piece here.
“Combating antisemitism requires a shift in perspective, I explained. It must sprout from a positive place. We must know what we are protecting from assault. We must be motivated far more by our love for the insights, wisdom and joy embedded in Jewish culture than by the fight against those who harbor an insane hatred of it.”
Dr. Carol Anderson recently co-authored an opinion article for ‘The Grio’ about the push to disqualify former president Donald Trump from holding elected office under the 14th amendment to the constitution. Known as the disqualification clause, section 3 of that amendment prohibits “any government officer who takes an oath to defend the Constitution and who then engages in an insurrection or aids one against the United States, from ever holding office again.” Drawing on parallel cases from the distant and recent past, Anderson and co-author Donald K. Sherman argue that this clause should apply to Trump in light of his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Read an excerpt of the piece below along with the full article here: “A conviction won’t stop Trump from holding office. The 14th Amendment’s disqualification clause could.” Dr. Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department.
“The Reconstruction era includes numerous examples of the disqualification clause’s application. More recently, last year, three New Mexico residents, represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, won the first case in more than 150 years that removed an elected official from office for participating in an insurrection. That court ruled that New Mexico County Commissioner Couy Griffin violated section 3 of the 14th Amendment by recruiting rioters to attend Trump’s “wild” effort to overturn the election, normalizing violence and breaching police barriers as part of a weaponized mob that allowed other insurrectionists to overwhelm law enforcement and storm the Capitol. Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection was even more significant and well-documented than Griffin’s, and CREW has announced plans to pursue his disqualification in court.“