SouthBound: Drew Lanham On Birding While Black, And Hope As The Thing With Feathers

Jul 10, 2019

Listening to Drew Lanham is like standing in a field and hearing the sounds of nature wash over you. Lanham grew up in the country in South Carolina and fell in love with watching birds. Eventually, he turned that love into his career.

He’s now the Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, where he specializes in the study of birds that have gone extinct. His essay on the Carolina parakeet, which died out 101 years ago, is part of this year’s Best American Essays collection. He is also African American, which makes him an uncommon figure in the bird-watching world. He has thought deeply about the connections between those parts of his life.  

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SouthBound is a production of WFAE. Our host is Tommy Tomlinson. Our producer is Nick de la Canal. Our audience engagement manager is Joni Deutsch, and our main theme comes from Josh Turner.