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#CharlestonSyllabus Research Guide

A curated guide on racial violence and race relations in the US based on readings compiled by African-American scholars following the devastating events of June 2015 in Charleston, SC.

General Overviews

William W. Freehling, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 (1966)

Stephen Channing, Crisis of Fear: Secession in South Carolina (1970)

Gerda Lerner, The Grimké Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women’s Rights and Abolition (1971) 

Peter Wood, Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion (1974)

Thomas Holt, Black Over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina During Reconstruction (1977)

Daniel Littlefield, Rice and Slaves: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina (1981)

Charles Joyner, Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community (1984)

Margaret Washington Creel, A Peculiar People: Slave Religion and Community Culture Among the Gullah (1988)

Julie Saville, The Work of Reconstruction: From Slave to Wage Laborer in South Carolina, 1860-1870 (1994)

Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small World: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (1995)

Richard Zuczek, State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina (1996)

Leslie Schwalm, A Hard Fight For We: Women’s Transition from Slavery to Freedom in South Carolina (1997)

Douglas Egerton, He Shall Go Out Free: The Lives of Denmark Vesey (1999)

David M. Robertson, Denmark Vesey, The Buried History of America’s Largest Slave Rebellion and the Man Who Led It (1999)

Manisha Sinha, Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina (2000)

Judith Carney, Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (2001)

Michael Johnson, Denmark Vesey and his Co-Conspirators,” The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 4 (2001): 915-976.

Charles J. Holden, In the Great Maelstrom: Conservatives in Post-Civil War South Carolina (2002)

John Hammond Moore, Carnival of Blood: Dueling, Lynching, and Murder in SC, 1880-1920 (2006)

Peter Lau, Democracy Rising: South Carolina and the Fight for Black Equality since 1865 (2006)

Andrew Billingsley, Yearning to Breathe Free: Robert Smalls of South Carolina and His Families (2007)

Orville Vernon Burton and Winifred B. Moore, eds. Toward the Meeting of the Waters: Currents in the Civil Rights Movement of South Carolina during the Twentieth Century (2008)

Katherine Mellen Charron, Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark (2009).

LeRhonda S. Manigault-BryantTalking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah-Geechee Women (2014)

Orville Vernon Burton, Emory Campbell, and Wilbur Cross, Penn Center: A History Preserved (2014)

Charlotte S. Riley, A Mysterious Life and Calling: From Slavery to Ministry in South Carolina (2016)

Readings on Charleston

Bernard Powers, Black Charlestonians: A Social History, 1822-1885 (1999)

David Blight, “The First Decoration Day (2001)

Harlan Greene, Harry Hutchins, Jr. et. al., Slave Badges and the Slave-Hire System in Charleston, South Carolina: 1783-1865 (2004)

Stephanie Yuhl, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston (2005)

Edmund Drago, Charleston’s Avery Center: From Education and Civil Rights to Preserving the African American Experience (2006)

R. Scott Baker, Paradoxes of Desegregation: African American Struggles for Educational Equity in Charleston, South Carolina, 1926-1972 (2006)

Amrita Myers, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston (2011)

Blain Roberts and Ethan J. Kytle, Looking the Thing in the Face: Slavery, Race, and the Commemorative Landscape in Charleston, South Carolina, 1865-2010,” Journal of Southern History, Volume LXXVIII, No. 3 (2012): 639-668.

Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts, “'Is it Okay to Talk about Slaves?’ Segregating the Past in Historic Charleston,” in Karen L. Cox, ed., Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (2012), 137-159.

Blain Roberts, “Uncovering the Confederacy of the Mind: Or, How I Became a Belle of the Ball in Denmark Vesey’s Church,” Southern Cultures, Volume XIX, No. 3 (2013), 6-25.

Stephanie Yuhl, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Centering the Domestic Slave Trade in American Public History,” Journal of Southern History, Volume LXXIX, No. 3 (2013): 593-624.

Steve Estes, Charleston in Black and White: Race and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement (2015)

Jeff Strickland, Unequal Freedoms: Ethnicity, Race, and White Supremacy in Civil War-Era Charleston (2015)