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Active Citizens Book Group Meeting

November Selection

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

About the Book

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.

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.

About the Active Citizens Book Group

The Active Citizens Book Group typically meets on the last Sunday of the month, at 4 p.m. Join us to discuss current affairs in the US and around the world. Future topics will include the environment, racism, economic and gender inequality, and workers' rights.
Each selection of the book discussion group is discounted 20% at the Odyssey Bookshop. Click on the link below to order online. Use code BOOKCLUB to apply the discount at checkout.

Event date: 
Sunday, November 21, 2021 - 4:00pm
Event address: 
Odyssey Bookshop
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781635574258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 1st, 2021

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