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How the Word Is Passed
How the Word Is Passed: A Journey Across the Country That Black America Built | Clint Smith
In its simplest distillation, How the Word is Passed is the story of Clint Smith's visits to seven places that the work and lives of enslaved people built. Those places are Monticello in Virginia; Angola Prison in Louisiana; the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana; Blandford Cemetery in Virginia; Galveston, Texas, where the first Juneteenth was celebrated; Wall Street; and Goree Island, Senegal.How the Word is Passed is much more than a travelogue. What Clint Smith does is show us how the history of slavery is not only relevant today but alive today. He does this by revealing how slavery is hidden in plain sight, introducing us to the men and women who have devoted their lives to understanding what so many of us do not know and, finally, by letting us walk in his shoes as he learns these truths.It is important to briefly describe what this book is not - it is not a polemic, or another work of politics. It is not a sad procession of black death, or a weighty historical tome. What How the Word is Passed is is the living, breathing kind of history that is made unforgettable in the telling.
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Kdgordon88
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#BookReport

Girl: 4.5 🌟 I have one small quibble about one scene that didn‘t ring true. See spoiler comment below
Snowflake: 4🌟
HTWIP: 5🌟 Will definitely be on my #NYWD list for next year. #Bookspin
H: perfectly portrays what happened when women lose out due circumstances beyond their control in 17th century London and need to survive. Really loved the characters 4🌟 #NYWD

Catching up on buddy reads today.

thewallflower0707 I‘m glad you liked H ☺️. I thought it was very refreshing to have, at the same time, a well-researched historical novel and a female character, who just made the best of her life and actually ended up happy and with friends 😍 5d
Kdgordon88 The scene where Big Momma goes on about hard work and never giving up on dreams to Adunni seemed out of placed. She did not for a minute care if Adunni had dreams. 5d
Cinfhen I think you‘re probably right, but it‘s nice to imagine/ believe that Big Momma might of had an once of compassion. She was a terrible bitter person 5d
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RaeLovesToRead @Kdgordon88 @Cinfhen I think Daré was trying to make Big Momma a moral grey area - abused turns abuser, successful woman in a man's world - but the violence that she meted out made any attempts at redemption seem completely ridiculous and out of place. It might have worked better to tone down the abuse and give her some nicer qualities. Still, I gave it 5 stars because it was an incredibly absorbing book. 5d
megnews So glad to hear good things about HTWIP. I definitely want to read that one. 5d
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5d
42 likes6 comments
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Jas16
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Pickpick

Every bit as amazing as everyone has been saying. I listened to the audiobook but will be buying a copy for my shelves so that I can revisit the things that struck me the most and the places where my attention lagged (which tends to happen to me with audiobooks).

Cinfhen This is on my #NYWD list. I have the kindle book but I‘m thinking of adding audio narration 7d
Kdgordon88 @Cinfhen I finished the audio yesterday. It is excellent, the best book addressing slavery and enslaved persons I‘ve read so far. 6d
Cinfhen Thanks @Kdgordon88 💜I‘ll definitely add audio 6d
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vlwelser
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Pickpick

❤❤❤❤❤

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

This was the bonus book for my IRL book club. I am so glad they brought this into my life.

TheBookHippie I read the ARC and flagged and underlined almost the entire book! 2w
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2w
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Susanita
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The highest rated of the books I read in 2021. This is not a surprise to me. It‘s a very good book.

MallenNC This was my top book of last year. 2w
TrishB Have it on my kindle ready 👍🏻 2w
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mcctrish
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Pickpick

It‘s Epiphany so I took down the tree today and finished How the Word is Passed. I liked listening to CS read his book, I learned a lot about things I thought I knew, I learned a lot about things I knew nothing about. I like how he wove positive things about people making a difference now into horrendous historical events

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mcctrish
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Listened to Clint Smith while I drove out to the chicken farm for eggs and it makes me wonder how we will ever repair the damage. The section about the people who believe in the Confederate flag and that it doesn‘t mean they are racist and they can‘t understand why other people take offence baffles me

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Kdgordon88
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January #BookSpin #DoubleSpin and #Bingo

December: One bingo, 17 books off my shelves

Thanks, Sarah! You know I love this monthly challenge!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fabulous month!!! 3w
49 likes1 comment
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HillsAndHamletsBookshop
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Pickpick

Smith‘s personal, intimate examination of sites of historical significance to slavery is as soulful and accessible as it is urgent & important. The opening chapter on Jefferson‘s Monticello is one of the best chapters of American historical writing in recent memory, & should be required reading on the legacy of America‘s founders. It‘s rare to encounter a work where every paragraph brims with significance, but Clint Smith does just that.

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MallenNC
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Now that it‘s the last day of the year I can finally call my reading done for 2021. I read a lot of good books this year (thank you, audiobooks) but these were my Five Star reads. Its interesting how many of them were nonfiction this time around. The tagged book is my number one favorite.

#MyYearInBooks

jlhammar The Lost Family was so good! 3w
MallenNC @jlhammar It really was! I listened to it because @Megabooks posted a review and I am so glad she did. It wasn‘t on my radar until then. 3w
Megabooks That book was FASCINATING! 3w
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Scochrane26
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Both of these are favorites of this year. I read the tagged in September & Under the Whispering Door in October. Both so great for different reasons. #12booksof2021 @Andrew65

Andrew65 Great choices. 3w
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mcctrish
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Started this on audio today

Scochrane26 I loved this one 3w
mcctrish @Scochrane26 I am loving it from the beginning 3w
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underground_bks
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Pickpick

In his debut work of nonfiction, poet Clint Smith journeys to and reflects upon landmarks and monuments relevant to the history of slavery in America: plantation and prison, Confederate cemetery and African burial ground, the Door of No Return in Senegal and Juneteenth‘s birthplace in Galveston, Texas. Every chapter is an illuminating, powerful, and beautifully written exploration of history, memory, and the legacy of slavery in America today.

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mjtwo
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13-18 Dec 2021 (audiobook)
Such a moving, educating and challenging book. It thoroughly deserves its position on so many best of 2021 lists.
Difficult to describe: the author journeys to sites in the US and Senegal significant to the history of slavery and uses his experiences to prompt the reader to question their assumptions and education about slavery.
Beautifully written and read in an almost poetic style, I would confidently recommend.

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Bookishlie
Pickpick

This book was amazing! A New York Times top 10 book of 2021 - it totally earned it! He had some interesting thoughts and observations he brings to the table and you can hear the poet in his turn of phrase although it is not poetry. Everyone should read this!

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MallenNC
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Pickpick

One of my favorites of the year! Clint Smith is a poet, and you can see that in his writing in this book, in which he visits historic sites, including a plantation, a notorious prison, and a confederate cemetery, to see how the story of slavery is told. Very well done, with a mix of his own experience with the public history of these sites. Five stars #NonfictionNovember

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MallenNC
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I had a great #NonfictionNovember with eight books finished, and I‘m in the midst of a reread of The Warmth of Other Suns with a #BuddyRead here on Litsy. I need to do reviews of all of these but they were all worth reading. The tagged book is one of my top books of 2021.

Wake and Seek You are graphic memoirs/nonfiction and I‘m really beginning to enjoy nonfiction in that format.

vivastory Graphic memoirs are one of my favorite genres. I've really discovered some great ones this year. 2mo
MallenNC @vivastory I‘d love some recommendations if any are particular favorites! I‘ve read the ones on my Nonfiction 2021 card and this post. The only other I‘ve read is Good Talk by Mira Jacobs. (edited) 2mo
vivastory For some reason I'm only now receiving a tag notification about your reply. 😬 I have several recommendations for graphic memoirs. These are all graphic memoirs that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since I first read:
*Derf Backderf: Kent State (I also loved Backderf's gm Trashed, & although it is darker I also enjoyed his gm Dahmer- about him going to school with Jeffrey Dahmer).
*Thi Bui: The best We Could Do (cont)
2mo
vivastory *Radtke's: Imagine Wanting Only This
*March trilogy
*Nicole Georges“ Calling Dr. Laura (out of all of the books I've mentioned so far, this was the only 4 star. But it's def worth reading I think)
I have posted full reviews of each of these on Litsy if you're curious to learn more about each title
(edited) 2mo
32 likes4 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Have you read any of the 100 Notable books picked by the NYT?
https://vm.tiktok.com/ZM8sW26eW/

I have read 12 and have 8 on my TBR shelf.

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Cinfhen
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#USKindleDailyDeal #NewYearWhoDis #Winning Wow!! So glad I found this today 💜 @MallenNC @Blaire

Soubhiville This is definitely in my top 10 list for this year! 2mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen my library has it! I definitely need to listen! 2mo
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Cinfhen I‘m so excited @Soubhiville because it wasn‘t available on any of my library services 2mo
Blaire @Soubhiville @Megabooks @cinfhen it really blew me away. Even the history I knew was told in a way that gave me new insight. Make sure to read the epilogue. 2mo
MallenNC That‘s great timing! 2mo
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rsteve388
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Wow! What a eye opening, very real account of how slavery has impacted our country and our culture in the United States. It was a very profound book, one that should be read by everyone. Very powerful. The section about Angola Prison in Louisiana was heart stopping. Excellent. #NFN21 #NFN #NonFictionNov

Cinfhen Thanks for sharing. Sounds like an important read 2mo
Scochrane26 I felt the same way about this book. So eye-opening. 2mo
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Blaire
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Smith visits Monticello, a confederate burial site, Angola prison, and the Whitney plantation among other places to look at how enslavement impacts our history and present day. I found the Angola section to be particularly powerful and visceral. The epilogue about his own family made the whole book feel very personal. Highly recommend. And my 100th book of the year. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

EvieBee 🎖#100 2mo
BkClubCare 💯 woot! 2mo
DivineDiana 👏🏻😲👍🏻 2mo
60 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rsteve388
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#NFN #NFN21 Point Check In! @coffees

tdrosebud Hi Rachel, I filled out the form for this past week. However, I didn't listen to any podcasts but the form required an answer, so you can just ignore that one. Thanks! 2mo
rsteve388 @coffees ^^ @tdrosebud Thanks.for letting me know. 2mo
julesG Hey Rachel, we were thinking of doing a Buddyread in December, but I can't remember which book we wanted to read. 🙈🙈🙈🙈 2mo
rsteve388 @Jules Children of Earth can't remember who it's by. 2mo
rsteve388 Children of time... 2mo
22 likes5 comments
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SW-T
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There was a lot in this one that I didn‘t know. I enjoyed the background and trivia on the landmarks and places he visited. It‘s interesting to see how two people can look at the same thing and come away with vastly different impressions. The epilogue made me want to cry when he spoke of how he saw his grandfather versus how his grandfather had been treated as a child growing up during segregation. One to think of long after finishing.

lele1432 I need to pick this one back up! 2mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

5⭐
This should be required reading for Americans. This is truly an outstanding book.Smith is a poet and he uses language to make a terrible history lesson a beautifully written book.His research is impeccable, and no matter how much you think you know you will learn something. I had no idea the "United Daughters of the Confederacy" helped build a disgusting, hateful traitors park just an hour from me in Washington state.
Blown away by this book.

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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

A non-fiction book that examines how America deals with the legacy of slavery in the 21st century. As you might imagine, the findings are mostly grim, but I learned a lot.

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ChaoticMissAdventures
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#weeklyforecast it is a heavy reading week. Next week I should make sure to add some fun books!

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I grew up in the North Eastern US, and I feel like my education included learning about slavery in a way that was sensitive to the needs of children but also was truthful about it‘s horrors.

This book explores the history of slavery and how it‘s facts are entirely entwined in every region of US history. I feel it‘s a must-read, and I‘d love to see it become part of high school curriculums.

I‘d highly recommend this. 5⭐️

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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

An excellent addition to the titles I‘ve been reading to help me better understand race in America. Definitely learned some things I didn‘t know and more about some things I only had surface-level knowledge of. Smith travelled to places across the country and even other parts of the world to learn about the current attitudes about slavery, while reflecting on the traumas of the past. Monticello, Antigone, New York City and more are featured.

ChaoticMissAdventures This is on my list, I really appreciate Smiths ability to break things down and his writing is always wonderful. 3mo
Jess I just finished this one on audio today. Fantastic. 3mo
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Pedrocamacho
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Pickpick

This is a great book. Smith visits a number of landmarks to human bondage in America and the transatlantic slave trade. He encounters folks trying to expand our understanding of its consequences as well as those in thrall to the Lost Cause false-narrative.

Hooked_on_books This book is incredible! I was delighted to just see it longlisted for the National Book Award. 4mo
Pedrocamacho @Hooked_on_books Agreed. And what a list to be on. Lots of goodies. 4mo
12 likes2 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

This book is phenomenal. Smith visits multiple places and reframes our understanding of their history with slavery as the focus. Because that‘s what happened. He shows some heavy, depressing stuff with a gentle hand. This is the kind of book that can change minds. Read it. Read it now.

Soubhiville I just put it on hold at my library. Thanks for the recommendation! 4mo
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Scochrane26
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Pickpick

A Litsy rec. NF about different places that symbolize our history of slavery. Smith travels to Monticello, Whitney plantation, Angola, Blandford cemetery, Galveston island, NYC, & Goree Island. While I knew more in the Monticello section, I learned so much in the others, including about Juneteenth. Had no idea the info about NYC & will definitely be spending time on Wall St next time I visit. Really thought-provoking book. 5 ⭐️

Avanders Hello! Checking on #FallingForFallSwap #fffs package — all packages were supposed to be shipped by this past Wed 9/8. I may have missed your notice… but can you verify when your package was shipped? Thanks! 🍁🍂 4mo
Scochrane26 @avanders Sorry, I will get my package mailed tomorrow through UPS. My hours at work are not good for getting to post office or UPS. 4mo
Avanders @Scochrane26 got it - thanks for the update! (And I hear you on the work hours!) 🧡🍁🍂 4mo
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Avanders Hello again — we‘re you able to get your package shipped? 🤞🏽🧡🍁 4mo
Scochrane26 @Avanders Shipped it Monday, it‘s supposed to get there today. I forgot to put the hashtag on it, but I‘m assuming my person will know what it is. 4mo
Avanders @Scochrane26 yay! Thanks for the update! 🧡🍁🍂 4mo
32 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Smartypants
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1. Paris, Gold Rock Beach Bahamas, San Juan PR
2. Alone time, which is becoming easier and easier as my social circle has changed and gotten smaller this last year.
3. How the Word is Passed
4. Today, I‘m grateful for all the time I got to spend with my mom the last couple years before she passed.
@Reggie @Eggs @Cinfhen @WanderingBookaneer

Thanks @EadieB 😘

Cinfhen Thanks for thinking of me xx and I love the answer you gave to question 4!! We all need to remember how precious time can be ♥️ 4mo
EadieB You‘re welcome! Thanks for playing! 4mo
Eggs Thanks for playing 🌺 Great responses 👍🏼📚🥰 4mo
11 likes3 comments
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Smartypants
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Pickpick

Author tells the history of slavery in several location narratives. What I appreciated about the book was the author‘s inclusion of not just US slave history, including the north, but also from a location in Africa. An excellent read!

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amma-keep-reading
Pickpick

Powerful.

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TracyReadsBooks
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My daughter and I visited one of our favorite local bookstores yesterday. I came home with two…she came home with more.

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Lesanne
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The history of slavery is the history of the United States. It was not peripheral to our founding; it was central to it. It is not irrelevant to our contemporary society; it created it. This history is in our soil, it is in our policies, and it must, too, be in our memories.

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NotoriousMBG
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Pickpick

I started this one on audio ages ago, and if my work life had not become insane, I would have flown through it.

This book is, in a word, phenomenal.

Covering the story of slavery through the dual lenses of his own experience and the locations he visits, Clint Smith weaves a story that is utterly fascinating.

This was easily one of the best history books I have read in quite some time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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HettyG
Pickpick

A fearless book, I am so thankful for the author and his willingness to take what seemed to me an at times harrowing journey so that he could tell us about it.

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Daisey
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Pickpick

Clint Smith does a wonderful job weaving together his experiences of visiting several places & their history with slavery. For me, the most interesting were about Monticello & the Whitney plantation, as well as the description of Juneteenth, but all were well-written & informative.

Audio read by author with duration of 10 hours 7 minutes.

*I received an #audiobook through the #Librofm #ALC program for educators.

#Nonfiction #BooksOnTheFarm

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shortsarahrose
Pickpick

The history of slavery is central to the history of the USA, yet how we reckon with that history is inconsistent and often harmful. I listened to the audio, narrated by the author. I sometimes couldn‘t parse out where others‘ quotes ended and Smith‘s historical exposition began. However, what I lost in the history, I gained in the vivid rendering of how he narrates his experience of these places as a black man. A powerful monument in its own right

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LatrelWhite
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Weekend read … finishing up! 🎧

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Zuhkeeyah
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Pickpick

Wow. Just wow. Clint Smith takes you on a journey as he visits places whose legacies are tangled with slavery. A master of words, Smith describes each interview in such evocative detail you can almost feel the breeze on your own skin. Highly recommend to all.

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Zuhkeeyah
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The perfect read to get back into my reading journal. Only a couple chapters in but would already recommend!

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cornfedwellread
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Pickpick

A powerful exploration of the ways historical sites and museums tell the story of American slavery. Clint Smith mixes history, anthropology, and memoir to create a unique work that should be essential reading for all museum professionals and anyone else interested in history. I highly recommend listening to Smith's reading of the audiobook.

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PNWBookseller85
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Pickpick

It‘s hard to put into words how I feel about this book. It needs just silence at the close. It‘s history and memoir and poetry. Its beautiful and horrifying. Full of both empathy and judgment.

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Christine
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Pickpick

This was really incredible. What a combination of memoir, travel writing, history, sociological data-gathering, empathy-filled analysis, poetic language, and more. His voice reading the audiobook is an experience unto itself, but I‘d also like to read this in print. And it‘s a great Juneteenth book, as it‘s one of the topics he covers.❤️

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Floresj
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Pickpick

I know it‘s a great book, when I turn the page and when I see “Epilogue”, I yell, “No!” Fascinating tours of a variety of monuments, events, NYC, and museums that show the wide education/discussion about slavery and history. I learned a lot and Smith‘s writing, observations and interviews are a master class in journalism. Excellent.

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Christine
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It will of course be wonderful when more in-person book events resume. But will I ever tire of seeing amazing writers chatting in front of their amazing bookshelves? I will not. So I hope these kind of events continue, too. (Can‘t wait to read the tagged!)

TheBookHippie This book is the best thing I read this year and EVER on this subject. I think every single high schooler should read it. Purely amazing .. (edited) 8mo
Christine @TheBookHippie Thanks for sharing, and this lifts my expectations even higher! I‘ve heard Clint Smith in conversation about the book several times and found him so compelling. 7mo
TheBookHippie @Christine I plan to read it again soon and highlight and go through it more, it is a lot of information and told so well. 7mo
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MandaMT
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Pickpick

This book was PHENOMENAL! Clint Smith toured landmarks associated with Slavery in the US. Some places, like the Whitney Plantation, place the slave narrative front and center. Others, like Angola Prison, skirt around it. He fills in gaps tour guides omitted. This book is worth checking out for the first chapter alone. He takes multiple tours at Jefferson‘s Mount Vernon and notes the vastly different slave tour and house tour. Very eye opening.

Christine I‘m really looking forward to this one! 8mo
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TheBookHippie
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1. This isn‘t out yet but it is the best book I‘ve read this year, a necessary read, required reading. It is written so well. How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith I am hoping it turns into a much talked about book! Drop date MAY 25

2. Medusa 💙

Everyone play!!! #TWO4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing and happy Tuesday! 9mo
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