Stacy Abrams, who lost a very close race for Georgia governor in November, was in Philadelphia on Friday to talk to American historians in town for the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. The topic was voter suppression. Here is a taste of Jennifer Schuessler‘s piece at The New York Times:
...last Friday, Ms. Abrams dropped in on a much quieter venue: the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Ben Franklin, which bills itself as the oldest cultural institution in the United States.
It wasn’t a stop on Ms. Abrams’s book tour. Instead, she was there to participate in an intimate two-hour conversation about the history of voter suppression with four leading scholars. It will be published next year by the University of Georgia Press as part of a new series called History in the Headlines, which aims to bring historical expertise to bear on today’s most hotly debated issues.The Trump era has been a red-alert moment for many historians, who have mobilized in the classroom, on op-ed pages and on social media to combat what they see as the erosion of democratic norms and an attack on truth itself.
For the conversation, the moderator, Jim Downs, a professor at Connecticut College, had recruited what he called a “dream team”: Carol Anderson, the author of “One Person, No Vote;” Heather Cox Richardson, an expert in the history of the Republican Party; Heather Ann Thompson, the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Attica prison revolt; and Kevin Kruse, who has become famous for his epic Twitter threads smiting the dubious historical claims of pundits and politicians.
Before the event, they seemed galvanized at the prospect of talking with someone who has, as Mr. Kruse put it, skin in the game.
“When the email went out saying she was coming, I was like —,” Dr. Anderson, a professor at Emory University, said, clutching her heart. A few minutes later, Ms. Abrams approached.
Read the entire piece here.