Defend democracy in the South.

History

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.

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.