Today’s Battle Over the Confederate Flag Has Nothing to Do With the Civil War

Popular Well Beyond the South, It Is Now a Modern Symbol of White Grievance and Nostalgia for Crumbling Hierarchies

Three years ago, Dylann Roof murdered nine people in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina and renewed a long-running debate about the meaning of the Confederate battle flag. Since then, the discussion about flying the flag in public places—as well as ongoing fights about the removal of Confederate monuments—has been framed as the persistence of historic passions. This interpretation is deeply and dangerously misleading: In fact, the flag’s meaning has changed significantly over time, and the contemporary conflict about the flag should be seen more as a dispute …

The African American ‘Hidden Figures’ Who Desegregated the South’s Public Libraries

In Jackson, Blacks Endured Beatings and Dog Attacks to Gain Entrance, While in Birmingham They Used Sit-Ins to State Their Case

Historians of the civil rights era, between 1954 and 1968, have crafted an impressive body of literature focusing on the resolve of young black community activists who bravely resisted racial …

Suppressing Voting Rights Is as Old as the Republic—But the Tactics Keep Changing 

Discriminatory State Constitutions, Poll and Literacy Taxes, and Now Photo ID Laws All Have Been Used to Keep Ballots From the Less Powerful 

The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.

From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to …

Why Martin Luther King Saw His Life as a Sacrifice

A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer Sheds Light on the Civil Rights Icon's Spiritual Trials

David J. Garrow is the author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1987. Warren …

Why Has America Been So Reluctant to ‘Own’ the South?

A Preeminent Historian Explores How a Region Central to U.S. Identity Gets Written Out of the National Narrative

James C. Cobb is Emeritus B. Phinizy Spalding distinguished professor in the history of the American South at the University of Georgia. He has published 13 books and many articles …

The South Carolina Monument That Symbolizes Clashing Memories of Slavery

In Charleston, Blacks and Whites Have Viewed the Bronze Likeness of Racist Ideologue John C. Calhoun From Radically Different Angles

In the center of Charleston, South Carolina, in a verdant green space that plays host to farmers markets, festivals, and sunbathing undergraduates, stands a monument of John C. Calhoun, the …