Defend democracy in the South.

Benjamin Barber

Researcher/Writer

Benjamin Barber is the democracy program coordinator at the Institute for Southern Studies, a contributing writer for Facing South, and a graduate of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a bachelor's degree in history from Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. Benjamin previously interned with the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama and with Facing South, and he served as the historian for the North Carolina NAACP Youth and College Division. His research focuses on voting rights, democracy, and Southern history.

 
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Articles by Benjamin Barber

The South's schools are failing to teach accurate Reconstruction history

February 17, 2022 - A recent report from the Zinn Education Project comprehensively assesses educational standards for the teaching of Reconstruction history in all 50 states and finds vast room for improvement. The study urges policymakers, teachers, parents, and students to press for more attention to this history in grades K–12 as the era has assumed greater relevance amid ongoing fights for racial justice and historical accuracy.

A Senate fight is brewing over the Freedom to Vote Act — and the filibuster

September 29, 2021 - Senate Democrats recently introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise alternative to the For the People Act, far-reaching pro-democracy legislation blocked by a Republican filibuster. If the GOP again uses the filibuster to obstruct the bill, Democrats say they'll take on reforming the Senate policy, which requires 60 votes to end debate on a measure. But that will require moving conservative Democrats like West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a filibuster defender who's also among the new bill's sponsors.