Clint Smith, author of ‘How the Word is Passed,’ to speak in Lawrence Monday

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Clint Smith — poet, journalist and author of “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America” — will speak at Liberty Hall Monday evening.

Smith’s book explores the brutal history, legacy and lasting effects of slavery.


According to information from the Lawrence Arts Center:

“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 more than 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.”

“… 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.”

Smith’s book has appeared on the Raven Book Store’s bestseller lists multiple times. It’s also a New York Times bestseller.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the talk, set for 7 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6. Tickets to attend in person at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., are free and available at this link.

Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 is required at the door. Attendees can show a paper vaccine card or a photo of their vaccine card with a matching photo ID.

The talk will also be livestreamed via CrowdCast. Sign up to attend virtually at this link.

The event is a partnership between the Lawrence Arts Center and the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas.

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