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Community Class: The Franchise: A History of Voting Rights in North Carolina

Thursday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. via Zoom

This is an online event. An email containing a Zoom link will be sent to all registrants an hour before the program. Register here!

Presenter: James L. Leloudis, Professor, Department of History, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and Robert R. Korstad, Professor Emeritus, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

Voting is the cornerstone of American democracy. The ability to participate in civic life—to have a voice in choosing the elected officials whose decisions impact our lives, families, and communities—is at the core of what it means to be an American. Yet, across this nation, people are struggling over the question of who gets to exercise that right and under what circumstances. 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 15th Amendment, we remain a nation divided over the right to vote.

Join the Museum of History in presenting this inaugural program of a new series, Community Class, for educators, students, and community members at large. This evening’s “class” will begin with a short video showcasing the museum’s current lobby exhibit on female suffrage in North Carolina—“You Have to Start a Thing”—then jump into a facilitated conversation with Leloudis and Korstard. 

Leloudis, who is also associate dean for honors at UNC–CH and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, UNC–CH, has long investigated the history of the modern South, with emphases on labor, education, race, and reform. Korstad also sits on the Faculty Advisory Board for the Duke Human Rights Center at Franklin Humanities Institute; his research interests include 20th-century US history, labor history, African American history, and contemporary social policy. Together, they have just published a book, Fragile Democracy: The Struggle over Race and Voting Rights in North Carolina. Get your copy, which includes a bookplate signed by the authors, through our Museum Shop and help support programs and other efforts of the museum.