History Matters: Historians Respond to the Charleston Shooting [Updated]

There is no way to tell the story of what happened on June 17, 2015, without talking about deeper histories of race, religion, and violence.

Steve Estes: Faith in Charleston

Charleston is nicknamed the “Holy City,” because of the many steeples that punctuate the graceful poetry of its skyline. There are more than 900 houses of worship in the Low Country, representing all of the world’s major faiths, and more than a few minor ones. Some of the congregations were founded in the 1600s, others in the 2010s. Some meet in grand buildings on the National Historic Registry, others in humble strip mall storefronts. Regardless of how old they are or where they meet, Charleston’s congregations are driven by faith. That faith was sorely tested this week with the racially motivated murders of worshipers in Emanuel AME church. How could a city so steeped in faith witness a scene of such unimaginable horror in one of its holy places?

Steve Estes: Cameras and Cops

By the 1980s, the Charleston police department and departments around the country were deployed to fight two “wars” on the home front. They fought a war on crime, of course, but also on drugs. Thinking about policing as war and civilians as the enemy led to a crackdown on impoverished urban minority communities the likes of which the country had never seen before.

June is LGBT Pride Month

When former President Bill Clinton was elected nearly 18 years ago, there was heated debate about gays serving in the United States military. Originally, a proposed federal law was to ban all gays from the armed services; Clinton rallied support for a compromise and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was born in 1993. Seven …

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In honor of their service

In addition to the many outstanding books UNC Press has published on Civil War battles, World War II military tactics, Cold War strategy, war heroes, and other military history, we have also brought to print stories of veterans sometimes left out of traditional American military narratives. In honor of all those who serve our country, …

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Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Maybe hearing it from retired officers in the armed services will push Congress to reconsider the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward gays in the military: “Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion.” A new study points to …

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