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Walter Edgar's Journal

Walter Edgar's Journal

Someone once said, “All roads lead to Rome.” Maybe...

But longtime historian, author, and radio host Walter Edgar believes it’s a safer bet that all roads pass through South Carolina. And lot of them start here.

On Walter Edgar’s Journal, he delves into the arts, culture, and history of South Carolina and the American South, to find out, among other things... the mysteries of okra, how many "Reconstructions" there have been since the Civil War, and why the road through the Supreme Court to civil rights has been so rocky.

Join Walter Edgar with co-host Alfred Turner and their guests the first and third Thursday of each month for the revamped Walter Edgar’s Journal podcast. Listen to the episodes on this page, subscribe through the links below, listen in the SCETV App, or ask your smart speaker to "play Walter Edgar's Journal."

Click here to contact the show.

Click here to listen to South Carolina from A to Z.

Click here to play the Dr. Walter Edgar's South Carolina Quiz!

  • On this edition of The Journal, Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey tell some of the stories and recipes from their book, Kugels & Collards: Stories of Food, Family, and Tradition in Jewish South Carolina (2023, USC Press). In the book, Lyssa and Rachel celebrate the unique and diverse food history of Jewish South Carolina. They have gathered stories and recipes from diverse Jewish sources – including Sephardic and Ashkenazi families who have been in the state for hundreds of years as well as more recent immigrants from Russia and Israel.In our conversation today, we’ll explore how these cherished dishes were influenced by available ingredients and complemented by African American and regional culinary traditions.
  • This week we will talk with Dr. Bernard Powers about the establishment of the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC. Bernie powers is professor emeritus of history at the College of Charleston and is director of the college’s Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston. He is also on the Board of Directors of the International African American Museum.Bernie is in a unique position to tell the story of the Museum, as he has been involved in the efforts to create the institution from the start - 23 years ago. He will talk with us about those efforts, the evolution of the concept behind the museum, and about some of the stories that the museum strives to tell.
  • Our guest this week, Steve Procko, tells us the true story of nine Union prisoners-of-war who escaped from a Confederate prison in Columbia, South Carolina, in November 1864, and traveled north in brutal winter conditions more than 300 miles with search parties and bloodhounds hot on their trail. On the difficult journey they relied on the help of enslaved men and women, as well as Southerners who sympathized with the North, before finally reaching Union lines in Knoxville, Tennessee, on New Years Day 1865.
  • In 1722, Mark Catesby stepped ashore in Charles Town in the Carolina colony. Over the next four years, this young naturalist made history as he explored America’s natural wonders, collecting and drawing plants and animals which had never been seen back in the Old World. Nine years later Catesby produced his magnificent and groundbreaking book, The Natural History of Carolina, the first-ever illustrated account of American flora and fauna.In this episode of the Journal we talk with Patrick Dean, author of Nature's Messenger: Mark Catesby and His Adventures in a New World (2023, Simon & Schuster). As Dean will tell us, Catesby was a pioneer in many ways, with his careful attention to the knowledge of non-Europeans in America—the enslaved Africans and Native Americans who had their own sources of food and medicine from nature— which set him apart from other Europeans of his time.
  • In her book, The Spingarn Brothers: White Privilege, Jewish Heritage, and the Struggle for Racial Equality (2023, Johns Hopkins University), Katherine Reynolds Chaddock tells a story that many today might see as unlikely: two Jewish brothers in New York, privileged in some ways but considered “the other” by many in society, find common cause with African Americans suffering from racial discrimination. And, Joel and Arthur Spingarn become leaders in the struggle for racial equality and equality – even serving as presidents of the NAACP.Katherine Reynolds Chaddock joins us to tell the Springans’ story.
  • This week, Dr. Eric Crawford, a Gullah/Geechee scholar and Associate Professor of Musicology at Claflin University in Orangeburg, joins us to talk about Gullah culture and about editing a second edition of the late Dr. Wilbur Cross’ book, Gullah Culture in America (Blair, 2022).The book chronicles the history and culture of the Gullah people, African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of the American South, telling the story of the arrival of enslaved West Africans to the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia; the melding of their African cultures, which created distinct creole language, cuisine, traditions, and arts; and the establishment of the Penn School, dedicated to education and support of the Gullah freedmen following the Civil War.
  • Veteran journalist Adam Parker has covered just about everything for Charleston's Post and Courier newspaper, though he has spent most of his time writing about race, religion, and the arts. Us: A Journalist's Look at the Culture, Conflict and Creativity of the South (2022, Evening Post Books) is a collection of in-depth articles published over the course of nearly 20 years, and it reveals the breadth and scope of Parker's uncanny ability to pull back the scrim and take a hard look at ourselves and our community.Adam joins us to talk about his life and work, and to share some of the stories that he has written.
  • The Creek War is one of the most tragic episodes in American history, leading to the greatest loss of Native American life on what is now U.S. soil.Peter Cozzens, author of A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, the Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South, tells us the story of the war that shaped the American South, and which would likely not have been won by the fledgling republic without Andrew Jackson’s unbridled ambition, cruelty, and fraught sense of honor and duty.
  • In his book, The South Never Plays Itself, author, and film critic Ben Beard explores the history of the Deep South on screen, beginning with silent cinema and ending in the streaming era, from President Wilson to President Trump, from musical to comedy to horror to crime to melodrama. Opinionated, obsessive, sweeping, often combative, sometimes funny―a wild narrative tumble into culture both high and low―Beard attempts to answer the haunting question: what do movies know about the South that we don’t?
  • Charleston, South Carolina’s John Martin Taylor is a culinary historian and cookbook author. His first book, Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, has been continuously in print for thirty years, and his writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Gastronomica.With the release of his latest book, Charleston to Phnom Penh - A Cook's Journal, he joins us for a conversation about his career, his travels, and, of course, food.