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'How The Word Is Passed' author Clint Smith on reckoning with America’s history of slavery

Clint Smith photo credit Carletta Girma

Editor's note: This conversation originally aired June 16, 2021.

Reckoning with America’s original sin: How do we remember our country’s history with slavery? And what does that say about the story we tell ourselves as a nation?

Clint Smith, a staff writer at The Atlantic and a Davidson College alum, set out to explore those questions in his instant bestseller “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.”

He has toured sites central to our collective memory of slavery, from plantations to memorials, and reflects on how our history informs our identity today.

In honor of the Juneteenth holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people, guest host Erik Spanberg talks with Clint Smith about reckoning with our history.


Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic, author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.