Carol Anderson with Christopher Sebastian Parker

Award-winning author and Emory University professor, historian Carol Anderson pays a welcome Seattle return, albeit in virtual form, for her timely new book, The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury USA). She is to be joined here in conversation with University of Washington political science professor and author Christopher Sebastian Parker.

“In this extraordinarily important book, Dr. Anderson shows that the Second Amendment was designed, and has always been implemented, to enable white Americans to dominate their Black neighbors. In her trademark engaging and unflinching prose, Dr. Anderson traces America’s racist history of gun laws from the 1639 Virginia colony’s prohibition on Africans carrying guns to the recent police murders of Breonna Taylor and Emantic Bradford, Jr., showing how calls for ‘law and order’ have concentrated guns in the hands of white people while defining Black fun ownership as a threat to society. Anderson’s deft scholarship convincingly places the right to use force at the center of American citizenship, and warns that the Second Amendment, as it is currently exercised, guarantees that Black Americans will never be equal.”—Heather Cox Richardson.  

“The second amendment, as Carol Anderson deftly establishes here, was written in the blood of enslaved black people. Our stalemated gun rights debates have focused on the idea that the second amendment preserves liberty rather than its historic role in denying it. This book does a great deal to change the parameters of that conversation.” —Jelani Cobb.

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. She is also author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation's Divide, which received the National Book Critics Circle Prize; Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955; Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960; and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy. Christopher Sebastian Parker’s books include Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South; and Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America.

Presented by the Northwest African American Museum ( and Elliott Bay Book Company.

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The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635574258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 1st, 2021

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 5:00pm
Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
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