Defend democracy in the South.

History

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.

From the Archives: Acts of God?

December 16, 2021 - In 2004, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, devoted an issue to examining just how natural so-called "natural disasters" are. The reporting and analysis resonate today as residents of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky struggle to recover from a devastating December tornado outbreak — the impact of which was compounded by workplace policies that treated profits as more important than human lives.

Civil rights attorney and author Geeta N. Kapur on pushing UNC to confront its systemic racism

October 7, 2021 - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was built by enslaved Black people but refused to admit Black students until the 1950s and only after a protracted legal fight — and the school continues to struggle around issues of race today. Civil rights attorney Geeta N. Kapur documents UNC's troubling history in her new book "To Drink From the Well: The Struggle for Racial Equality at the Nation's Oldest Public University," which she discussed with Facing South.

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.