Professors James Leloudis and Robert Korstad discuss their new book Fragile Democracy: The struggle over race and voting rights in North Carolina .
America is at war with itself over the right to vote, or, more precisely, over the question of who gets to exercise that right and under what circumstances. Conservatives speak in ominous tones of voter fraud so widespread that it threatens public trust in elected government. Progressives counter that fraud is rare and that calls for reforms such as voter ID are part of a campaign to shrink the electorate and exclude some citizens from the political life of the nation.
North Carolina is a battleground for this debate, and its history can help us understand why–a century and a half after ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment–we remain a nation divided over the right to vote. In Fragile Democracy , James L. Leloudis and Robert R. Korstad tell the story of race and voting rights, from the end of the Civil War until the present day. They show that battles over the franchise have played out through cycles of emancipatory politics and conservative retrenchment. When race has been used as an instrument of exclusion from political life, the result has been a society in which vast numbers of Americans are denied the elements of meaningful freedom: a good job, a good education, good health, and a good home. That history points to the need for a bold new vision of what democracy looks like.
Join us as the authors discuss their important work at this critical moment in history.
James L. Leloudis is Professor of History, Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina, and Director, The James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robert R. Korstad is Professor Emeritus of History and Public Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Don’t miss this very special event.
When: Tuesday October 13 at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Online; pre-register from the comfort of your home, and remember to social distance!
Suggested contribution: $10 (click here  to support NC Policy Watch)
Questions?? Contact Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or [email protected]