Over the past several weeks, I have been working closely with fellow historians Chad Williams and Kidada Williams; and a group of talented librarians (Cecily Walker, Ryan P. Randall, and Melissa Morrone) on the #Charlestonsyllabus. In the aftermath of thehorrendous shooting that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina, Chad Williams turned to Twitter to express his frustrations about the continued distortions of history that
dominated mass media. Indeed, these same distorted versions of history have often dominated public discourse—i.e. suggestions that somehow the Confederate flag the shooter displayed on his clothing had nothing to do with white supremacy; or somehow the shooter’s actions were so exceptional as to imply that it was not part of a long and painful history of anti-black racism and racial violence in the US and abroad.