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The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

by Carol Anderson

Hardcover

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, an unflinching, critical new look at the Second Amendment—and how it has been engineered to deny the rights of African Americans since its inception.

In The Second, historian and award-winning, bestselling author of White Rage Carol Anderson powerfully illuminates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has consistently been constructed to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. The Second is neither a “pro-gun” nor an “anti-gun” book; the lens is the citizenship rights and human rights of African Americans.

From the seventeenth century, when it was encoded into law that the enslaved could not own, carry, or use a firearm whatsoever, until today, with measures to expand and curtail gun ownership aimed disproportionately at the African American population, the right to bear arms has been consistently used as a weapon to keep African Americans powerless—revealing that armed or unarmed, Blackness, it would seem, is the threat that must be neutralized and punished.

Throughout American history to the twenty-first century, regardless of the laws, court decisions, and changing political environment, the Second has consistently meant this: That the second a Black person exercises this right, the second they pick up a gun to protect themselves (or the second that they don’t), their life—as surely as Philando Castile’s, Tamir Rice’s, Alton Sterling’s—may be snatched away in that single, fatal second. Through compelling historical narrative merging into the unfolding events of today, Anderson’s penetrating investigation shows that the Second Amendment is not about guns but about anti-Blackness, shedding shocking new light on another dimension of racism in America.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635574258
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 18,051
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of One Person, No Vote, longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award; White Rage, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Bourgeois Radicals; and Eyes off the Prize. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Table of Contents

Introduction "Why Did You Shoot Him, Sir?" 1

1 "Sheep Will Never Make a Revolution" 10

2 Keeping a Ferocious Monster in Chains 40

3 The Right to Kill Negroes 84

4 How Can I Be Unarmed When My Blackness Is the Weapon That You Fear? 126

Epilogue Racism Lies Around like a Loaded Weapon 159

Acknowledgments 167

Notes 169

Index 241

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