Powerful forces shape and define a sanitized version of Southern history. Author Frank Beacham met these distortions head-on when he began a personal quest to explore his memories and answer lingering questions from his days growing up in South Carolina. The result is Whitewash, the new third edition of compelling book that destroys carefully constructed myths to reveal three extraordinary events that many influential Southerners would just as soon forget.
Three Lost Stories from the Modern South
— Discover the hip young black and white dancers that defied segregation after World War II and gave birth to Carolina “beach music” and the shag. Visit Charlie‘s Place, the defiant interracial Myrtle Beach nightclub where jazz met “race” music, and gutsy clubgoers risked their lives to take the dance floor. Witness the armed assault in 1950 by the Ku Klux Klan in a violent attempt to stop the rise of the “forbidden” music that would soon become known as rhythm and blues.
— Revisit the Orangeburg Massacre, the racially inspired shootout from the civil rights era that undermined South Carolina‘s proud claim to racial tolerance. Learn how a law enforcement meltdown became an exceptional character study of white leadership in what was once hailed as the “New South.” Find out why, after nearly 50 years, an aggressive effort continued to hide and distort the role of former Gov. Robert McNair and his white state police in the 1968 killing of three black college students in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
— Strip away the facade of Honea Path and learn the terrible secret that haunted this tiny Piedmont town for 60 years. Join the author‘s surprising journey to his hometown when he discovers that his own grandfather organized a group of gunmen that killed seven men and wounded 30 others at the local cotton mill during the General Textile Strike of 1934.
History that fights back!
Each story in Whitewash continues to live and remain fiercely unresolved! Perhaps, as Frank Beacham found, this is because each shares a fundamental cultural code that reaches back to the antebellum South: stubbornness, pride, honor, and denial.