Walter Edgar's Journal

News & Music Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm; Sat, 7 - 8 am | News & Talk Stations: Fri, 12-1 pm; Sun, 4-5 pm

Walter Edgar's Journal delves into the arts, culture, history of South Carolina and the American South. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed on Walter Edgar's Journal are not necessarily those of South Carolina Public Radio.

The Shifting Meaning of the Confederate Battle Flag

Sep 14, 2015

    Since the early 1960s the Confederate battle flag had been flying at the South Carolina State House--at first, on the Capitol dome; then, as the result of an NAACP boycott of businesses in the state, it was moved to the Confederate Soldiers monument. On July 10, 2015, as a result of growing public pressure following the shooting deaths of the pastor and eight parishioners of Emanuel A. M. E. Church in Charleston, the flag was removed to a museum.

This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Dr. Bobby Donaldson, a historian from the University of South Carolina, and Dr. James Cobb, Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Georgia, join Dr. Edgar to look at the history of the battle flag and other Confederate symbols, and at how their meanings have changed over the years. 

All Stations: Fri, Sep 18, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Sep 20, 4 pm

  South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal is retiring at the end of 2015. First elected to the court in 1988, Toal has served as its chief since 2000. This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Toal joins Dr, Edgar to talk about her career and about the changes she has helped bring to South Carolina’s court systems. And she gives a preview of her upcoming James Otis Lecture, September 18th.

All Stations: Fri, Sep 11, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Sep 13, 4 pm

James McTeer II
Hub City Writers Project

(Originally broadcast 06/30/15) --Betsy Teter, Executive Director--and one of the co-founders--of the Hub City Writer's Project talks with Walter Edgar about twenty years of Hub City. Novelist James McTeer II joins the conversation to talk about, Minnow, the winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press.

Dr. John Marzsalek
Mississippi State University

  In his book, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (Free Press, 1992) John F. Marszalek presents general William Tecumseh Sherman as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success. Dr. Marszalek talks with Walter Edgar about Sherman as a military commander who came to abhor what he saw as the senseless slaughter of the War, and who sought a different strategy to bring the South to surrender. (Originally broadcast 04/10/15)

---All Stations: Fri, Aug 28, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 30, 4 pm---

  (Originally broadcast 03/20/15) --- In a remarkable reappraisal of Lincoln, the distinguished historian O. Vernon Burton shows how the president’s authentic Southernness empowered him to conduct a civil war that redefined freedom as a personal right to be expanded to all Americans. In the violent decades to follow, the extent of that freedom would be contested but not its central place in what defined the country.

This conversation was recorded before a live audience as part of the series Conversations on the Civil War, sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Humanities and Institute for Southern Studies.

--- All Stations: Fri, Aug 21, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 23, 4 pm ---

Lowcountry Fiction

Aug 10, 2015

  Walter Edgar welcomes two old friends to Walter Edgar's Journal this week, Dorothea Benton Frank and Mary Alice Monroe. Monroe talks about her new novel, The Summer’s End (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2015), the final installment her Lowcountry Summer trilogy of books. In All the Single Ladies (Harper Collins, 2015), Dorothea Benton Frank again takes us deep into the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where three unsuspecting women are brought together by tragedy and mystery.

--All Stations: Fri, Aug 14, 12 pm; News Stations: Sun, Aug 16, 4pm---

  --- All Stations: Fri, Aug 7, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 9, 4 pm ---

(Originally Broadcast 02/06/15) - The topic on this week's Walter Edgar's Journal is Collecting--antiques, fine art, and decorative art. Southern art—and South Carolina art in particular—has become increasingly desirable to collectors as well as average art collectors in the last ten years. There is even a market for 20th century furniture and decorative items. But, with sea change in the auction business brought about by the World Wide Web, prices and desirability of certain objects can rise and fall drastically, in a short period of time.

Dr. Edgar is joined by two guests who can offer perspective on collecting; Ronald Long, President of Columbia’s Charlton Hall Gallery, and Callie Belser, a South Carolinian who is currently Associate Vice President, Specialist, 20th Century Decorative Arts and Design at Christie’s, NY.

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jul 31, 12pm | News Stations: Sun, Aug 2, 4pm --- 

(Originally broadcast 12/15/14) - The story of Catholic Hill in the Colleton County town of Ritter serves as a metaphor for black Catholics in South Carolina. While the Catholic Hill experience is unique in many respects, it is emblematic of the struggle for the faith in the way that the people of Catholic Hill maintained their identity despite decades of hardship and neglect. Professor Allison McCletchie, of Claflin University, is leading a small team that is creating an ethnography of Catholic Hill. She joins Dr. Edgar along with Catholic Hill native Davetta Greene to talk about the community's past and present.

Margaret Bradham Thornton
Louise Fields

  Charleston native Margaret Bradham Thornton is the editor of the highly praised Tennessee Williams’ Notebooks (2006, Yale Press), for which she received the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. Her latest work is the novel, Charleston (2014, Harper Collins), which Walter Isaacson calls a "lyrical tale [which] explores the emotional terrain of love, loss, and memory." She talks with Walter Edgar this week about her life growing up in Charleston, her career, and the vital role of literature in her life.

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jul 17, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jul 19, 4 pm ---

(Originally broadcast 01/16/15) ---  Bestselling author Ron Rash returns to Walter Edgar’s Journal to talk about his life and work. He’ll also tell Dr. Edgar about The Ron Rash Reader (USC Press, 2014), the 20th anniversary edition of The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth (USC Press, 2014) as well as his collection entitled Something Rich and Strange (Harper Collins, 2014).  And he’ll talk about co-writing the screenplay for the film Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and based on Rash’s 2008 bestselling novel.

The scene outside Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Sunday, June 21, 2015
Linda O'Bryon

--- All stations: Fri, Jul 10, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jul 12, 4 pm ---

  The shooting deaths of nine members of Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church in June shocked the nation. However, the history of “Mother Emanuel,” and, indeed, the black church in South Carolina, is one of repression and resistance, spiritual succor and political action, as well as education and aspiration. Dr. Bobby Donaldson of the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jon N. Hale of the College of Charleston talk with Walter Edgar about this history.

James McTeer II
Hub City Writers Project

Betsy Teter, Executive Director--and one of the co-founders--of the Hub City Writer's Project talks with Walter Edgar about twenty years of Hub City. Novelist James McTeer II joins the conversation to talk about, Minnow, the winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press.

Extreme Barbecue

Jun 29, 2015
Dan Huntley

---All stations: Fri, Jul 3, 12 pm | News stations: Sun, Jul 5, 4 pm---

 (Originally broadcast 06/29/07) - -- For 24 years, Dan Huntley was a reporter/columnist for The Charlotte Observer. As a recipient of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan, he had the opportunity to travel and cook in Buenos Aires, Istanbul, and the Greek Peloponnese. He soon realized that the Carolina pig pickings that he’s done since he was a teenager were part of a much larger food world. He then developed his own barbeque sauce, Carolina Pig Pucker, co-authored (with Lisa Grace Lednicer) a book, Extreme Barbecue, and started a catering business, Outdoor Feasts catering.

In this encore from 2007, Dan talks "contraption cooking" with Walter Edgar.

Denmark Vesey
Courtesy National Park Service

  There's a long history to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., — affectionately known as "Mother Emanuel" — where nine churchgoers were allegedly shot and killed by 21-year-old Dylann Roof on Wednesday night. Part of that history involves Denmark Vesey, a West Indian slave, and later a freedman, who planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States had word of the plans not been leaked.

The revolt was to take place on Bastille Day, July 17, 1822, and was in reaction to the city of Charleston's suppression of the African Church, which boasted a membership of over three thousand in 1820. News of the plan leaked and Charleston authorities arrested the plot's leaders before the uprising could begin.

Dr. Bernard E. Powers, Jr., Professor of History and Director of African-American Studies at the College of Charleston, joins Dr. Edgar to talk about Denmark Vesey and why his name still has resonance today. (Originally broadcast 03/14/08)

The Storied South

Jun 15, 2015
William Ferris
University of North Carolina Press

  --- All Stations: Fri, Jun 19, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Jun 21, 4 pm ---

This week on Walter Edgar's Journal, Dr. William Ferris, renowned folklorist and historian, tells the stories and history of The Storied South - Voices of Writers and Artists (UNC Press, 2013). The Storied South features the voices of twenty-six of the most luminous artists and thinkers in the American cultural firmament, from Eudora Welty, Pete Seeger, and Alice Walker to William Eggleston, Bobby Rush, and C. Vann Woodward.