Contribute Now
America After Charleston | Topics | WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • Click to make/update a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list

America After Charleston

Last Updated by WMHT Web Editor on

Watch Monday, September 21, 2015 at 9pm on WMHT-TV

PBS today announced plans to broadcast AMERICA AFTER CHARLESTON, a one-hour town hall meeting that aims to explore the many issues propelled into public discourse after a white gunman shot and killed nine African-American parishioners in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. Gwen Ifill, PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor, and moderator and managing editor of WASHINGTON WEEK, will moderate the special broadcast. AMERICA AFTER CHARLESTON.

The events in Charleston have sparked national conversations about the meaning and significance of the Confederate flag, put new focus on the political call to action, “Black Lives Matter,” and has made race and the changing demographic landscape a central topic in the 2016 elections. Through conversations with the families of the victims, Charleston civic leaders and commentators from across the country, this town hall special brings together a diverse range of voices to engage in constructive conversation about the issues raised by the events in South Carolina.

AMERICA AFTER CHARLESTON will be taped just blocks from the site of the shootings, at the Circular Congregational Church before a live audience on Saturday, September 19. The special will engage audiences across digital platforms through exclusive web content, live social media integration during the broadcast and educational resources that will be made available to teachers and students.

The special airs one year after Ifill served as moderator for AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON, a national conversation, broadcast on PBS in September 2014, which explored the complex questions raised around race, class and identity in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri.  

“I grew up as the child of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, so the murders at the Charleston church hit home for me,” said Ifill. “But this latest example of America's unsettled racial climate does not stand alone. We are returning to Charleston to continue the conversation we began in Ferguson last year, and which has resonated in Baltimore, Cincinnati and Waller County, Texas, since.”

“All around the country, the events in Charleston stunned us and prompted frank discussion about race, tradition, guns, equality and opportunity,” said PBS NEWSHOUR Executive Producer and Senior Vice President Sara Just. “This year, on the brink of a presidential election, the country seems ready for a challenging conversation about our past and our future, around all of these tough issues. That is what we will do with this town meeting.”

Chasing the DreamChasing the Dream

Capitol Confidential

Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s special election

Its special election day! New York voters will select candidates to fill two vacant state Senate seats and nine open...

A.M. Roundup: New York special elections are underway

Good morning. The governor is in New York City, missing the Capital Regions sunshine. Heres your roundup! Eleven seats will be determined during Tuesdays special...

Assembly hearings examine aid-in-dying

The Assemblys health committee on Monday convened the first of two public hearings on a proposed law that would...

Cuomo proposes plastic bag ban

Gov. Andrew Cuomo isproposing a statewide banon the plastic bags used by grocery stores and many retailers. The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our...

DiNapoli report: State investigations into overtime complaints are lacking

State regulators arent appropriately responding to complaints of excessive overtime from nurses in New York...