How the Word Is Passed

£20.00

In its simplest distillation, ‘How the Word is Passed’ is the story of Clint Smith’s visits to seven places that the work and lives of enslaved people built. Those places are Monticello in Virginia; Angola Prison in Louisiana; the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana; Blandford Cemetery in Virginia; Galveston, Texas, where the first Juneteenth was celebrated; Wall Street; and Goree Island, Senegal. ‘How the Word is Passed’ is much more than a travelogue. What Clint Smith does is show us how the history of slavery is not only relevant today but alive today. He does this by revealing how slavery is hidden in plain sight, introducing us to the men and women who have devoted their lives to understanding what so many of us do not know and, finally, by letting us walk in his shoes as he learns these truths.

SKU: 9780349701172 Category: Tags: ,

Description

Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on 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 America’s collective history.

It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. 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.

A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of America’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 neighbourhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women and children has been deeply imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of non-fiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of the United States and how it has come to be.

Additional information

Weight 0.041 kg
Dimensions 24 × 15.6 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Hardback

Pages

336

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

973 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K

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