A child of South Carolina, and the complicated legacy of the Confederate flag

I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, where the Confederate flag was celebrated as the symbol of the South. In school, we were taught about the Civil War and yet it seemed removed. In my young mind, I understood that slavery was bad, but I also was living in a world where slavery was long over. What I did not recognize was the discrimination around me—socially and economically.

My elementary and middle school opened in 1954, the same year as the Supreme Court’s ruling in...

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