RUC Fall 2023 Book Study

The Race Unification Committee has chosen Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America for its fall book study. The reading series is open to all. Discussions will be held on Zoom from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every alternating Tuesday beginning September 5, the day after Labor Day, and continuing through Nov. 14, skipping October 31 and November 7.
To register, please contact Jeanna Carlton in the church office, and let her know if you would like the church to order your book. If affordable, donations of $16 are encouraged to cover the cost of each book.
Clint Smith is an award-winning African American poet and staff writer for “The Atlantic” magazine who studied English at Davidson College and earned a Ph.D. in education from Harvard University. His 296-page book takes the reader to eight places connected with slavery:
1. New Orleans, where Smith grew up
2. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
3. Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation, whose mission is to help tourists understand the lives of the enslaved people who labored there
4. Louisiana’s maximum-security Angola Prison, a former plantation
5. Petersburg, Virginia’s Blandford Cemetery, which contains the remains of 30,000 Confederate soldiers
6. Galveston Island, Texas, where Juneteenth Day was first celebrated
7. New York City, which utilized slave labor from 1626 to 1841 and had a public market for buying and selling slaves on Wall Street
8. Goree Island in Senegal, one of the sites where kidnapped Africans were forcibly held until they could be placed on slave ships for transport to the New World.
For the Epilogue, Smith interviewed his maternal grandfather, who was the grandchild of an enslaved person, and his paternal grandmother for emotional accounts of life during post-slavery Jim Crow.
For questions about the book series, please contact Bill Keesler.