Clint Smith, "How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America" (Little, Brown and Company, 2021)


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How do we narrate history, both the troubling past and what we chose to remember? Clint Smith sets out to wrestle with this question and its relationship to enslavement in his first nonfiction book, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown and Company, 2021). From Monticello plantation to Angola Prison to Galveston Island, Smith guides the reader on a journey as he visits domestic and abroad landmarks. In his exploration, he includes the reactions of the people he meets, like tourists, local public historians, and teachers, illuminating how these sites and all of us participate in remembering enslavement in contemporary America.

N'Kosi Oates is a Ph.D. candidate in Africana Studies at Brown University. Find him on Twitter at NKosiOates.

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