THE EDUCATED ACTIVIST: Social Justice Reading & Discussions

Clint Smith’s latest book: How the Words Are Passed.

Clinton Smith III is an American writer, poet and scholar. He is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and the author of Counting Descent, a 2017 poetry collection that was a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards and won Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

How different might our country look if all of us fully understood what happened here? How do people remember slavery beyond the written word? A poet, educator, and writer at the Atlantic, Clint Smith concerns himself with public spaces that enable “re-remembering and un-forgetting.” Smith, who grew up in New Orleans, grapples with the nature of narrative, memory, and public history by taking the reader along with him to plantations, cemeteries, monuments, and even an island off West Africa. We experience the mythology and the hard truths of places like Monticello and Angola Prison as Smith engages in challenging conversations with their respective guides and visitors. The details and depth of his storytelling are both visceral and poetic, crafting a history that is unforgettably present and surprising, even to the author. His intensely personal epilogue will resonate for anyone who has had the chance to witness the storytelling of their parents and grandparents for whom enslavement and brutality have been lived experiences.

A recent interview may be found here.

Recommended Books:

We believe that the best activists are those who are educated about issues. Periodically, we read important books and host discussions with authors after services during lunch. We also host screenings and panel discussions. Here is a list of recommended books:

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

City of Inmates Kelly Lytle Hernandéz

Locked In by John Pfaff

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle

Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle

The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

We also recommend you watch the film Anchor Babyproduced and directed by IKARite Leanna Creel.

Here are some articles to read: