Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence

Edited by Chad Williams, Kidada E. Williams, and Keisha N. Blain. Univ. of Georgia, $29.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8203-4957-2
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)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2016
Release date: 05/15/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-8203-4956-5
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