When hate groups descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, triggering an eruption of racist violence, the tragic conflict reverberated throughout the world. It also had a profound effect on the University of Virginia’s expansive community, many of whose members are involved in teaching issues of racism, public art, free speech, and social ethics. In the wake of this momentous incident, scholars, educators, and researchers have come together in this important new volume to thoughtfully reflect on the historic events of August 11 and 12, 2017.
How should we respond to the moral and ethical challenges of our times? What are our individual and collective responsibilities in advancing the principles of democracy and justice? Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity
(University of Virginia Press, 2018) brings together the work of these UVA faculty members catalyzed by the events of the summer to examine their community’s history more deeply and more broadly. Their essays―ranging from John Mason on the local legacy of the Lost Cause to Leslie Kendrick on free speech to Rachel Wahl on the paradoxes of activism―examine truth telling, engaged listening, and ethical responses, and aim to inspire individual reflection, as well as to provoke considered and responsible dialogue. This prescient new collection is a conversation that understands and owns America’s past and―crucially―shows that our past is very much part of our present. Today we speak with one of the editors, Claudrena N. Harold
Adam McNeil is a PhD Student in History at Rutgers University-New Brunswick