In His Bestselling Book, Clint Smith ’10 Reckons With History and the Lies We Tell

Clint Smith headshot alongside his book cover, How the Word is Passed

September 21, 2021 Update: Clint Smith's book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, is on the longlist for the National Book award in nonfiction.

The New Yorker's 2021 National Nonfiction Book Awards Longlist

Clint Smith’s How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America reached no. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List this week.

He’ll join Davidson College President Carol Quillen for a conversation about the book Monday, June 14. 

Smith, a 2010 Davidson grad, has carved a path as a nationally recognized educator and writer. His debut non-fiction book considers how history is distorted and consumed, and how an honest approach to the past might change our collective future.

In his poetry and prose, Smith considers the far-reaching legacies of slavery. He recently joined classmate David Dennis ’08 for an interview in The Undefeated to talk about his latest work.

Dennis writes, “It’s [the book] coming out at a prescient time where America is realizing how much of our history and our nation’s most valorized leaders have been romanticized and whitewashed of their complicity in the transatlantic slave trade.”

Additional Media

Fresh Air: Slavery Wasn’t ‘Long Ago ’: A Writer Exposes the Disconnect in How We Tell History