Hear, Here, a place-based oral history project in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin, launched in the spring of 2015 during a rash of shootings of black men by police across America. This article explores the local context of race panic in a former sundown town—or a city that has purposely maintained itself as white—after two black narrators shared stories of their experiences with racism. The essay explores the role of public historians doing social justice work in modern America, the issues that some publics have with such work, and ways in which to deal with controversies and criticisms.

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