Join the voice for a changing South.

History

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.

From the Archives: Lies Across the South

August 26, 2021 - Our monuments, markers, and other historical sites shape how we remember our past — with implications for the present. Writing for Southern Exposure magazine in 2000, sociologist and people's historian James Loewen journeyed through the South's memorial landscape and found that, all too often, it got the story wrong. Loewen died this month at age 79.

Demonstrators will gather in Washington to demand federal voting protections

August 18, 2021 - On the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, protestors will once again descend on the nation's capital as well as cities across the South to demand congressional action on civil rights. They're pressing for passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which have been stalled in the Senate because of Republican obstruction and some Democrats' unwillingness to end the filibuster.

Stalled U.S. debt relief is the latest broken promise to Black farmers

August 12, 2021 - Lawsuits brought by white farmers claiming "reverse racism" halted billions of dollars in targeted aid for Black farmers and other farmers of color provided through the American Rescue Plan. The blow has deepened distrust between the Black farming community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a relationship troubled by a history of racial discrimination and botched settlements.

VOICES: Remembering Billie Lee Rogers, who fought environmental racism in rural North Carolina

July 23, 2021 - In 1982, a rural, Black North Carolina community suffered damages from a timber company's careless aerial application of toxic pesticides. The fight that ensued with state authorities led to local resident Billie Lee Rogers becoming a lifelong advocate for pesticide safety and environmental justice. Rogers passed away in June, and we share pesticide safety advocate Allen Spalt's remarks about her life and work delivered at her memorial service.