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What's Happening at the NEIU Libraries?

Whose right to bear arms? Race and the Second Amendment

by Robin Harris on 2021-11-08T18:03:30-06:00 | Comments

Join the Northeastern Illinois University Libraries on Monday, November 15 at 4:00PM (Central Time) for a Zoom panel discussion featuring Charles E. Cobb Jr., Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Joyce Lee Malcolm, and Jack Rakove—four leading scholars with differing interpretations of the Second Amendment and its relationship to race and racism in U.S. history.

Joyce Lee Malcolm and Jack Rakove are constitutional historians who wrote opposing amicus briefs—available here and here—for the Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller. This court case determined whether the Second Amendment right to armed self-defense applies only to militias or to individuals as well. Historians Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Charles E. Cobb Jr. are veteran 1960s activists who have written distinct scholarly interpretations of race and gun rights. Dunbar-Ortiz's 2018 book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment argues that the Second Amendment has been inextricably tied to white supremacy throughout American history, while Cobb's 2014 book This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible argues that organized and armed self-defense was central to the success of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

This event will provide an opportunity for these four scholars to articulate the points at which their perspectives align and diverge. The panelists' opening remarks and responses to each other will be followed by Q&A with the audience. The event will be introduced by Edward Remus, Social Sciences Librarian at Northeastern Illinois University, and will be moderated by Joshua Salzmann, Associate Professor of History at Northeastern Illinois University.

This event is co-sponsored by the NEIU Department of History.

Click here to register for this event.

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