The brilliant Clint Smith returns to discuss his new book How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America which is currently #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. We talk about his pilgrimage across America in search of history and truth. Clint also shares about becoming a new father and how that experience has changed him. I love this man and the beauty he embodies.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He has previously received fellowships from New America, the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation.

His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, The Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published by Write Bloody Publishing in 2016. It won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award, and was selected as the 2017 ‘One Book One New Orleans’ book selection. Clint’s debut nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed, explores how different sites across the country reckon with, or fail to reckon with, their relationship to the history of slavery. It will be published by Little, Brown in June 2021.

Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review. He was named to the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list as well as Ebony Magazine‘s 2017 Power 100 list. His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, collectively have been viewed more than 9 million times.

Previously, Clint taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility. He is also the host of Crash Course’s Black American History series.

Clint received his B.A. in English from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in Education from Harvard University. Born and raised in New Orleans, he currently lives in Maryland with his wife and their two children.

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