Bestselling author Clint Smith to give talk about his book ‘How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America’

photo by: contributed

Clint Smith

As part of programming for the ongoing “Ghosts of Segregation” exhibit at the Lawrence Arts Center, bestselling author Clint Smith will be in Lawrence to talk about his book “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.”

Smith is a poet, scholar and a staff writer at The Atlantic, according to his website. “How the Word is Passed” was a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller and was long-listed for the National Book Award.

The narrative nonfiction book is a deeply researched and moving exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, according to an event announcement from the Arts Center. The book includes the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, as well as a former plantation turned maximum security prison in Louisiana, and the history of holidays such as Juneteenth.

Smith will speak at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St. The event will also be live-streamed. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required at Liberty Hall. The event is free and presented in partnership with the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas. More information is available on the Arts Center’s website,

The free “Ghosts of Segregation” exhibit is currently open and will run through Dec. 12 at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. “Ghosts of Segregation” includes 35 present-day photographs of “colored entrances,” segregation walls, locations of civil rights protests or the sites of racially motivated violence or assassinations, as the Journal-World recently reported.


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