Fragile Democracy: The Struggle Over Race and Voting Rights in North Carolina
America is at war with itself over the right to vote, or, more precisely, over the question of who gets to exercise that right and under what circumstances. North Carolina is a battleground for this debate, and its history can help us understand why – a century and a half after the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment – we remain a nation divided on the issue of free and fair elections. "Fragile Democracy" tells the story of race and voting rights, from the end of the Civil War until the present day. It shows that struggles over the franchise have played out through cycles of emancipatory politics and conservative retrenchment. When race has been used as an instrument of exclusion from political life, the result has been a society in which vast numbers of Americans are denied the elements of meaningful freedom: a good job, a good education, good health, and a good home. This history points to the need for a bold new vision of what democracy looks like. For this online event, we were joined by co-authors Prof.'s James L. Leloudis and Robert R. Korstad.
James L. Leloudis is Professor of History, the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina, and the Director of the The James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Robert R. Korstad is Professor Emeritus of History and Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy of Duke University. The moderator of the event was Deondra Rose, Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy. This event was sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center@FHI and cosponsored by Polis: Center for Politics at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy and the Hart Leadership Program.