Carol Anderson is one of the premier scholars of black American history. Anderson’s viral op-ed for the Washington Post explored the concept of “white rage” after Ferguson, Missouri erupted in 2014. Her subsequent book, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her latest book, One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy (2018), is a history of voter suppression in America.
“White rage recurs in American history,” Anderson writes in White Rage. “It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash.”
Anderson’s work explores the insidious policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that demolished the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This decision, called the Shelby ruling, effectively allows districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.
Anderson earned both her graduate and master’s degree in political science, international relations, and history from Miami University. She earned a PhD in history from Ohio State University in 1995. Her career as a professor started at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was awarded the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. She published her first book, Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955, in 2003. The book received both the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award and the Myrna F. Bernath Book Award.
In 2005, Anderson was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University, where she worked on her next book, Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 (2015). The following year, White Rage was released and named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Review of Books. The book was chosen as a New York Times Editor’s Choice in July of 2016, and Anderson was named number 11 on the Politico 50 List that same year.
Anderson is currently the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Huffington Post.