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How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

by Clint Smith
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 our country’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 neighborhoods 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 nonfiction 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 our country and how it has come to be.
in Our Country, Our Culture
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Published June 2021

Little, Brown and Company

Hardcover, 352 pages

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This isn’t just a work of history, it’s an intimate, active exploration of how we’re still constructing and distorting our history.

-Ron Charles, The Washington Post