Go Big Read: How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith

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book cover and event details on white marble background

Friday, December 2 at 5 PM
In-person at the Columbus Public Library and live on Zoom

This compelling #1 New York Times bestseller examines the legacy of slavery in America—and how both history and memory continue to shape our everyday lives.

Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation's collective history, and ourselves.

It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation-turned-maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

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.

The Columbus Public Library is pleased to partner with the UW-Madison Go Big Read program, which is a book program designed to engage members of the campus community and beyond in a shared, academically focused reading experience. Madison Public Library has partnered with UW since the beginning of the program in 2009 to extend the program into the greater Madison area by providing book club kits for checkout and hosting book discussions and related programming.

The Columbus Public Library will present this discussion in a hybrid format, both online via Zoom and in-person in the lower level of the library. Seating at the library is limited.

All who wish to attend, please register here and indicate whether you plan to attend in-person or online. Email address is required.