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Richard Gergel (Unexampled Courage: The Blinding of Sgt. Isaac Woodard and the Awakening of President Harry S. Truman and Judge J. Waties Waring) and Steve Luxenberg (Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation) discuss the historical backgrounds for groundbreaking court rulings that both denied and ignited civil rights for African-Americans in the United States. UVA Law School Dean Risa Goluboff moderates. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.
Why should you attend?
“Gergel is both an astute researcher and an engaging writer, bringing this significant story to vivid life. Civil rights history at its most compelling.” —Kirkus Review
“In this enlightening study, judge and historian Gergel illuminates the far-reaching effects of an individual act of cruelty. Gergel lays out the terrible racial logic that led from decorated WWII veteran Isaac Woodard’s innocuous request that the driver of his Greyhound bus allow him a rest stop to him permanently losing his eyesight after South Carolina police chief Lynwood Shull assaulted him with a blackjack in 1946. … this is an important work on the prehistory of the civil rights struggle and an insightful account of how a single incident can inspire massive social and political changes.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[Separate is a] surprising, compelling, and brilliant milestone in understanding the history of race relations in America.” —Bob Woodward, author of Fear: Trump in the White House
“Riveting and deeply researched, Separate tells the story surrounding one of the nation’s most devastating acts: drawing a sharp color line between black and white after the Civil War. The Plessy case was a knife that cleaved America, and Steve Luxenberg brilliantly reveals that divide with his rich narrative of admirable and flawed characters caught in the battle over racial justice. Every paragraph resonates in today’s headlines.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, and professor of history, Tulane University