2022 — 2023 Go Big Read Clint Smith's How the Word is Passed

2022 – 2023 Go Big Read 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.

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About the Author Clint Smith

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.


Keynote Event An Evening with Clint Smith

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A note from Rebecca Blank

Former Chancellor Rebecca Blank selected Clint Smith's How the Word is Passed as the 2022 – 2023 Go Big Read book.

To learn more, see the official press release.