Segments in this Video

Race Relations in America (02:48)


Gwen Ifill introduces the town hall; 58% of those polled believe race relations are getting worse. Cornell Belcher describes white students chanting "race doesn't matter," during the 2008 South Carolina primary. President Barack Obama's election heightened racial polarization.

Public Leadership and Race (02:24)

Bill Stanfield runs Metanoia Community Development; he wants to know if police brutality is symptomatic of its leadership or a singular event. Professor Andrea Gillespie was shocked to discover that some individuals still do not know the reason behind the Civil War.

Attack on Emanuel African Methodist Church (04:16)

Interim Pastor Norvel Goff describes how his parishioners are healing. Willi Glee discusses how America was founded on white supremacy. Malcolm Grand explains that it is alright for African Americans to be angry about racial discrimination— a young parishioner chooses to forgive.

Facebook Tracks Racial Discussions (04:11)

Hari Sreenivasan explains that 1.2 million Black students are suspended each year— 55% of those instances occur in the south. Shaun Harper provides statistics on how African Americans are less likely to graduate high school or college. White families are seven times more likely to accumulate wealth.

Recent PBS Poll (04:27)

African Americans polled believe they do not receive equal justice or employment opportunities. Umi Selah concludes nothing has changed since the shooting in Ferguson. Dr. David Cole and Michelle Mapp explain the need for economic reform to combat racial inequality.

Citizens Speak (03:02)

A white man describes how he needs to overcome racial prejudices instilled in him from childhood. A woman explains that forgiveness is a personal choice and African Americans need to stand up for themselves and say that they are angry.

Black Lives Matter (04:39)

Arielle Newton explains that racism makes people uncomfortable with the Black Lives Matter Movement— Charles Waring emphasizes the need for prayer and empathy. Cornell Brooks notes that all lives cannot matter if black lives do not matter.

Audience Responses (04:49)

A teenager in the audience describes racism at his high school— a woman explains how courage is necessary to implement changes. Audience members want reconciliation.

Jim Crow Did Not Happen by Accident (04:07)

Jelani Cobb feels that African Americans overestimate the power of conversation and the benevolence of white individuals. Jenny Horne received both positive and negative feedback after giving a speech to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina's House of Representatives.

America is Turning Browner (04:27)

Alexia Fernández Campbell describes the need to discuss immigration, closing the income gap, and racial inequality. Belcher explains that Republicans are more interested in discussing reverse discrimination. Horne emphasizes that most American's agree on 80% of the issues, but the country has become too politically polarized.

Taking Personal Responsibility (02:20)

An African American audience member explains that communities are segregated and the media has prejudiced white people on how African Americans behave. A white man expresses the need for education.

Two Generations of Activists (04:16)

Cleveland Sellers, Jr. explains that "forgiving and forgetting" creates a cyclic pattern of racial inequality. America needs to remember its history and address past injustices. Bakari Sellers describes feeling empowered when the state removed the Confederate flag.

Audience Member Question (05:08)

Graham explains that citizens need to elect lawmakers of moral courage. Waring feels prayer, empathy, and respect will help rid racial inequality. Brooks believes in prayer, but says that "faith in action" is needed— Selah agrees.

Introducing a Survivor (03:15)

Polly Shepherd, who survived the Emmanuel AME shooting, says that she forgives Roof. She agrees with Selah that the wealth gap needs to be addressed and hopes that lawmakers introduce gun control.

Credits: America After Charleston (00:60)

Credits: America After Charleston

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America After Charleston



This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by Gwen Ifill, explores the many issues around race relations that have come to the fore after a white gunman shot and killed nine African-American parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, and the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds that followed.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: This title is currently not available.

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.