Third Rail Lecture - Carol Anderson: Race and Guns in Fatally Unequal America

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA)

The Third Rail Series aims to address some of the most thorny and contentious social, political, and cultural issues related to race and ethnicity in contemporary society. Charged yet pivotal subjects such as affirmative action, welfare, immigration amnesty, reconciliation over slavery and Native American sovereignty, mass media imagery, and more will be addressed by respected scholars on the subject. These accessible public presentations are designed to inform and move public discussion forward.


Monday, March 7, 2022  |  5:00 - 6:30PM

Carol Anderson, The Second: Race and Guns in Fatally Unequal America

In this talk, historian Carol Anderson will powerfully illuminate the history and impact of the Second Amendment, its design, and how it has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. Based on her acclaimed book, The Second, Carol will share, through compelling historical narrative, merging into the unfolding events of today, how the Second Amendment is not about guns but rather about anti-Blackness, shedding shocking new light on another dimension of American racism.


Carol Anderson is a Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of several bestselling books including The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (2020), One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (2018) and the critically-acclaimed #1 bestseller White Rage (2016). In 2019, Carol contributed an essay to the New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project, an award-winning reframing of American history that placed slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative (now available as a book). Professor Anderson is also the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955 (Cambridge University Press), which was awarded both the Gustavus Myers and Myrna Bernath Book Awards. Her book Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation,1941-1960 was published by Cambridge in 2014. Her research has garnered substantial fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, National Humanities Center, Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

She has also served on working groups dealing with race at Stanford’s Center for Applied Science and Behavioral Studies, the Aspen Institute, and the United Nations. In addition, based on the strength and accessibility of her research, the leadership at Amnesty International, USA, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Ford Foundation, and others have used Eyes Off the Prize to frame and examine their human rights work in the United States. This has also led to sought-after commentary in Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, and that places contemporary issues dealing with race, human rights, and politics in a historical perspective. Her Washington Post op-ed, “White Rage,” was the most widely shared for the paper in 2014. Professor Anderson was a member of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative.