Clint Smith, "How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America"

Monday, December 6, 2021 7pm

644 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS

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Clint Smith

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America


FREE tickets for in-person attendance available through
Livestream available via Hall Center Crowdcast


Beginning in his own hometown of New Or­leans, Clint Smith leads readers through an unforgettable tour of monuments and land­marks— including those that are honest about the past and those that are not— offering an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.

How the Word is Passed is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing 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 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Bland­ford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Con­federate soldiers.

In a deeply researched and moving exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on cen­turies of American 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 imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought alive by the stories 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 be.

This event is presented in partnership with the Lawrence Arts Center, in conjunction with their ongoing exhibit 'Richard Frishman: Ghosts of Segregation'.

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