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How the Word is Passed : : a Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America

Smith, Clint. Book - 2021 Display, 306.362 Sm, Black Studies 306.362 Sm, Adult Book / Nonfiction / Social Science / Race & Ethnicity / Smith, Clint None on shelf 98 requests on 109 copies Community Rating: 4.6 out of 5

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"The whole city is a memorial to slavery:" prologue -- "There's a difference between history and nostalgia:" Monticello Plantation -- "An open book, up under the sky:" The Whitney Plantation -- "I can't change what happened here:" Angola Prison -- "I don't know if it's true or not, but I like it:" Blandford Cemetery -- "Our Independence Day:" Galveston Island -- "We were the good guys, right?" New York City -- "One slave is too much:" Gorée Island -- "I lived it:" epilogue -- About this project.
'How the Word is Passed' is Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, 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 nations collective history, and ourselves.

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Needs to Win All Kinds of Awards, Simply Amazing submitted by sdunav on June 24, 2021, 2:18pm I just finished this book. It's wonderful from the first line: "The sky above the Mississippi River stretched out like a song" to the last.

I love reading history, and "How the Word Is Passed" by Clint Smith reminded me of one of my favorite authors - Tony Horwitz - in that much of the account is just someone curious going somewhere interesting (in this case, Monticello, Whitney Plantation and Angola Prison in Louisiana, a Confederate cemetery in Virginia, Galveston Island, NYC, Senegal) and telling you about about the history of the place and talking to people there. How do they feel about this place? Why is it important to them?

Of course, it helps immensely that Smith is such a gifted writer, so deft in handling sensitive aspects of a hard topic (the history of slavery in the US), and that his insights are profound. I read this in two days (I think I was one of the first to get it from the AADL, I put it on hold after reading this article in the Atlantic a while ago) and now I'm going to have to buy a copy of it to loan and re-read.

https://www.theatlantic.com/.../confederate.../618711/...

Alerting all book clubs! submitted by flemingj on June 26, 2021, 9:27am I hope this book is read by everyone and becomes part of high school reading lists. It's history, it's poetry, it's unforgettable.

Outstanding! - A must-read for history teachers! submitted by TeacherN on June 28, 2021, 9:15am This book is beautifully-written and it gave me so much to think about as a teacher of American history. I highly recommend listening rather than just reading. The words feel like they were meant to be read aloud and the author's voice is divine.

A readable and compelling book submitted by Susan4Pax -prev. sueij- on June 16, 2022, 10:15pm An outstanding book to start my 2022 reading year. Smith writes a clear and well-researched book about how the US continues to look at its history of slavery. This is a new angle on a story we must keep telling: not only what happened in our past, but how we tell that story now. Visits to varying sites across the South, one in the North, and one across the Atlantic in Senegal provide a diverse set of starting points for questions. Smith does an excellent job blending personal story, expert testimony and research, and interviews to create a readable and compelling book that should be high on everyone’s list, especially white readers (because history was taught with our story in mind, and it’s good to rethink what was missing), whether on the left, right, or not particularly on the political spectrum. Highly recommended.

I think everyone should read this book! submitted by Xris on August 20, 2022, 11:14pm You don't realize the things you never learned until you read a book like this. I feel like now I need to take a road trip or make a bucket list that includes these places that Clint visited. It might take a bit for me to get to Gorée Island though, since I can't road trip there. Clint does such a great job of painting a picture with words for the reader to see! I want to tell everyone about this book!!

Poetic and Historical submitted by khrobinson on July 23, 2023, 7:32pm Clint Smith III used his poetic voice to tell the story of different places and the varying ways that they have responded to the legacy of slavery. Expertly studied and beautifully written.