In July of 1863, James Pennington, a prominent African-American minister and former slave, saw his neighborhood destroyed in a violent episode now known as the New York draft riots. Professor Iver Bernstein shared Pennington’s story in the podcast “Stripes and Scars,” which first aired last fall. Now, in a new introduction, Bernstein considers the draft riots and other historical moments of racial conflict alongside the more recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri. According to Bernstein, now is an appropriate moment to carefully consider the complex relationship between violence and protest, both historically and today.
Bernstein serves as director of the American Culture Studies program at Washington University in St. Louis. His upcoming book, Stripes & Scars: Race, The Revitalization of America, and The Origins of the Civil War, is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Listen to podcast on Hold That Thought