Guns And The Civil Rights Movement

Mar 3, 2015

A new book by Charles E. Cobb Jr. that explores the role of guns in the civil rights movement.


2015 marks the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement, including Bloody Sunday and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

These anniversaries have sparked conversations around the country about the people, ideas and tactics that shaped the movement. But journalist Charles Cobb wants to draw attention to a lesser-known narrative: the role that guns played in keeping people alive. His book This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (Basic Books/2014) explores the stories of rural activists, self-defense groups and World War II veterans who used arms throughout the movement to defend themselves and others.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks to Charles Cobb, journalist, professor and former activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), about his book. Cobb talks at the Bull’s Head Bookshop at UNC-Chapel Hill today at 3:30 p.m.