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From the Archives: The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union

October 1, 2021 - In 1974, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, published an issue of oral histories that included recollections of people who'd been involved with the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. Many of them refer to the Elaine Massacre, a mass murder of rural Black Arkansans by white mobs in response to sharecropper organizing attempts that took place 102 years ago this week. We're reprinting those oral histories in memory of the massacre.

From the Archives: The Elaine Massacre

October 1, 2021 - This week marks the 102nd anniversary of the Elaine Massacre in Arkansas, when a union organizing attempt by Black sharecroppers was met with deadly violence by mobs of white people. From the archives of Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, we're republishing an account of the tragedy drawn in part from oral histories of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union that appeared in the same issue.

In fight over COVID mask rules, Southern appeals courts side with GOP over schools

September 29, 2021 - Governors and legislatures across the South have banned public schools from requiring masks to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The bans have been successfully challenged in lower courts, but appellate courts overturned some of those rulings. Federal courts in several states are taking up the question of whether mask mandate bans violate the rights of students with disabilities.

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.