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Texas State Copitol, Austin Texas.Photograph by Wally Bobetz via flickr. Shared under a Creative Commons By Attribution license.
Explaining Texas: On Juneteenth, Voting, and Faith
July 18, 2021
Annette Gordon-Reed and Bee Moorhead provide context for the showdown over voting rights in Texas.
Annette Gordon Reed. Photograph courtesy Harvard University.
History is not just the fun things that happened. July 18, 2021

Award-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed is no stranger to diving into the areas that make readers uncomfortable.  In her new book, On Juneteenth, Gordon-Reed offers a hybrid history and memoir that gets personal and is timely as Texas lawmakers battle over voting rights.  Gordon-Reed speaks to the current controversy through a wider lens and suggests many Americans have a hard time seeing the Lone Star state fully because of the mythology of West Texas that dominates popular culture.  Arguing that by only seeing the cowboy and oilman, we are missing a character that may be even more important to understanding the story in Texas -- the plantation owner

Annette Gordon-Reed, Law professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian. She is currently the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard University, where she is also the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a professor of history in the university’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences. Author, most recently of On Juneteenth from Liveright/W. H. Norton.


On Juneteenth. Liveright/W.H. Norton
On Juneteenth
Liveright/W. H. Norton

Texas Senate Chambers, Austin Texas. Photgraph by Wally Bobetz via flickr, shared under a Creative Commons By Attribution license.
What Happened in Austin and Why Biden Makes a Bigger Case for Voting Protections. July 18, 2021
An audio tour of the 48-hour marathon in the statehouse sets the stage for Texas Democrats retreat to Washington, DC in an effort to prevent the Republican majority from passing voting laws that critics argue will limit access and disenfranchise people of color, the elderly, and the disabled.   And as it goes in Texas, it goes to the nation.   In response to the wave of states that are seeking to change voting laws, President Biden issues a clarion call to lawmakers and uses the bully pulpit of his office to call Americans to reject what he describes as 21st century Jim Crow.
Bee Moorhead, Executive Director Texax Impact. Photgraph courtesy. Texas Impact
Let My People Vote: Activists Send a Message to Texas Lawmakers July 18, 2021

The leader of the oldest interfaith network in Texas is calling on advocates and activists to make their voices heard at the state capitol on July 19th, 2021 for a rally to protect voting rights and train volunteers to support three upcoming state-wide elections.  Decrying the marathon special session as an “object lesson in not listening,” Bee Moorehead is urging their members to communicate with lawmakers but explains how extreme polarization has her network prioritizing an effort to return to one of their earliest activities: fostering dialogue and active listening.

Bee Moorhead. Executive Director of Texas Impact, an interfaith group that works on issues in Texas politics that impact the most vulnerable people of the state. Adjunct faculty member at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, credentialed observer to the United Nations climate policy negotiations process, and advisor to Vice President Al Gore. She spent eight years as a senior fiscal policy analyst for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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This week's closing music, New Hope, by Audiobinger.

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Remixes and original loops by Dissimilation Heavy Industries.