In How the Word Is Passed, Clint Smith seeks to examine how America memorializes, and reckons, with the legacy of slavery.
The author is a poet, educator and scholar from New Orleans who describes his visits to several locations in the US and Africa, each with a relationship to slavery.
“He uses each locale as a catalyst to discuss how these various places can inform us; how history can be passed on if we question and listen,” said a review on goodreads.com.
A review in The New York Times said: “For this timely and thought-provoking book, Smith toured sites key to the history of slavery and its present-day legacy.”
It added: “Interspersing interviews with the tourists, guides, activists and local historians he meets along the way with close readings of scholarship and poignant personal reflection, Smith holds up a mirror to America’s fraught relationship with its past, capturing a potent mixture of good intentions, earnest corrective, wilful ignorance and blatant distortion.”