Clint Smith: How the Word Is Passed



Eryone who is committed to social reform Further Clint Smith s skill as a writer and poet is on full display in every page I doubt that any other writer could provide his complex insight with such clear arguments Fantastic book that causes us to rethink symbols we ve come to accept or disregard because it does not necessarily directly impact us It shows how history and the narrative that is passed is important than ever We must reckon with our past history no matter how hard it is This book is going to win the National Book Award mark my words And it deserves the Pulitzer too It is an extraordinary piece of nonfictionIn How the Word Is Passed Clint Smith seeks to examine how America memorializes and reckons with the legacy of slavery He travels to different plantations memorials cemeteries museums prisons etc and examines how each of these locations reckon with slavery and if they are being honest and truthful or being dishonest and avoiding the past It is truly extraordinary Smith is also a poet and he weaves his narrative with the prose of a poet in such a lyrical and impactful way Everyone needs to read this book so please preorder it at it to your TBRs because this book is going to take the world by storm come June. History  How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view whether in places we might drive by on our way to work holidays such as Juneteenth or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan on which the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men women and children has been deeply imprintedInformed by scholarship and brought alive by the story of people living today Clint Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark work of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to.

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Clint Smith s nonfiction debut is a masterpiece that eschews simple characterization How The Word Is Passed is a travelogue and a series of historical essays in which Smith visits various places across the United States along with Gor e Island in Senegal In painstaking detail he writes about the many ways almost all of them deliberately hidden by centuries of racist legislature the enslavement of Black people along with the genocide of Indigenous populations has shaped the borders and ideals of the United States Smith writes about his visits to Monticello Thomas Jefferson s home and plantation in Virginia Angola State Prison in Louisiana Blandford Cemetery a resting place for Confederate soldiers in Virginia and Manhattan in New York City along with many other places In these diverse locations which represent various levels of contemporary American society rural urban incarcerated et cetera we witness with Smith the cruel and cyclical impacts of institutions like white supremacy and capitalism in every day American life The neglect and violence of some of the most common American figures and symbols is debilitatingFor example did you now reader that Thomas Jefferson owned over a hundred slaves Were you aware that the cu.  “We need this book” –Ibram X Kendi #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to be an Anti Racist The Atlantic staff writer and poet Clint Smith’s revealing contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans Clint Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks those that are honest about the past and those that are not that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history and ourselvesIt is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espou.

Rrent Louisiana State Penitentiary is housed on a former plantation Certainly I had no idea that Central Park was built in place of one of the first Black neighborhoods in Manhattan This book is not just full of reveals but it genuinely offers a glimpse into histories that have been white washed or erased over timeA majority of the details in this book are difficult to swallow and infinitely enraging However Smith introduces us to characters throughout these pages who have been working within their communities to either broaden the perspectives of our history or empower Black and BIPOC identity in America For example there is Damaras an educator in New York City who unveils the brutally racist history of America s cultural capital Plus there s a chapter on Galveston Texas and the history of Juneteenth which is a real life fable or fairy tale of communal strength and persistence against a vicious establishment How The Word Is Passed is a history book about the present It reinvents how we can engage with history as residents and communities The history in this book is overbearing However with this history we have the language and evidence to build a society that is anti racist and euitable I highly recommend this book to ev. Sing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving over 400 people on the premises It is the story of the Whitney Plantation one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it It is the story of Angola a former plantation turned maximum security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18000 acre land for virtually no pay And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiersIn a deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American.

Clint Smith is staff writer at The Atlantic He is the author of Counting Descent which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award Clint has received fellowships from New America the Art For Justice Fund Cave Canem and the National Science Foundation His writing has been published in T