Saturday, October 16, 2021
Sometimes, the more you try to ignore or deny something, the more it asserts itself in your psyche. In the collective American psyche, that buried issue is slavery. Poet, scholar, and Atlantic Monthly staff writer Clint Smith, in his revelatory book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, investigates how nine Civil War historic sites memorialize or distort their subject. Smith’s interviews, scholarship, and personal anecdotes about these sites poignantly and, at times, shockingly reveal the scars on the American psyche. Harvard historian Annette Gordon-Reed, whose works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hemingses of Monticello, blends a fascinating memoir of growing up in Texas with a history of slavery in that state in her latest, On Juneteenth. It turns out that slaveholding was central to the economy of the state best known for cowboys and BBQ. Join us for a rare opportunity to see these two stellar scholars together for an exploration of what has been buried for far too long. Moderated by WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti. Sponsored by the Krupp Family Foundation.
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