MLK Day 2022


Clint Smith Carousel

The Cambridge Public Library is pleased to announce that Clint Smith, author of the #1New York Times bestseller, How the World Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, will speak at the 47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day program on January 12, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. Smith will be in conversation with Dr. Paula C. Austin, Professor of History and African American Studies at Boston University. The program is co-sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library, the City Manager’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and the City of Cambridge Employees’ Committee on Diversity. 

How the World Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America illustrates how some of the United States 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) on which the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women and children has been deeply engraved. Beginning in the author’s hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader through 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.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is also the author of 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. Clint has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New America, the Emerson Collective, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation. His essays, poems, and scholarly writing have been published in The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineThe New RepublicPoetry MagazineThe Paris ReviewThe Harvard Educational Review, and elsewhere. 

Dr. Paula C. Austin is a U.S. historian with a focus on African American history, the history of race and racism, visual culture, urban and women’s history, history of social science, and the history of childhood. Dr. Austin is the author of Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life, a social and intellectual history of poor and working class young black people in early twentieth century, racially segregated Washington, D.C. 

Registration is required to participate in this virtual event.