Throughout American history to the twenty-first century, regardless of the laws, court decisions, and changing political environment, the Second Amendment has consistently meant this: That the second a Black person exercises this right, the second they pick up a gun to protect themselves (or the second that they don't), their life--as surely as Philando Castile's, Tamir Rice's, Alton Sterling's--may be snatched away in that single, fatal second.
In The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021) historian Carol Anderson powerfully illuminates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. The Second is neither a “pro-gun” nor an “anti-gun” book; the lens is the citizenship rights and human rights of African Americans.
Through compelling historical narrative merging into the unfolding events of today, Anderson's penetrating investigation shows that the Second Amendment is not about guns but about anti-Blackness, shedding shocking new light on another dimension of racism in America.
Dr. Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of One Person, No Vote, longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award; White Rage, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Bourgeois Radicals; and Eyes off the Prize. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Connect on Twitter @ProfCAnderson
Dr. Lee Pierce (they & she) is Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Communication at State University of New York at Geneseo and host of the podcast RhetoricLee Speaking. Connect with Lee on Twitter, Instagram, and Gmail @rhetoriclee