I’m pleased to unveil the astonishing cover of FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, which I edited alongside the award-winning historian @KeishaBlain. This historic volume is coming out @OneWorldLit on Feb. 2, 2021. 1/9
Histories of Black America have almost always been written by individuals, usually men. But why not a community of writers chronicling the history of a community? 2/9
@KeishaBlain and I assembled a community of 80 writers and 10 poets who represented some of the best Black recorders of Black America at its four-hundred-year mark. Though the project was conceived in 2018, most of the pieces were written in 2019. 3/9
We wanted the community to be writing during the four hundredth year in 2019. We wanted FOUR HUNDRED SOULS to write history and be history, a diary entry in the history of letters when Black America symbolically turned four hundred years old. 4/9
In different ways and forms, eighty writers each chronicled five years of African America’s history in succession, amounting to four hundred years. Each of the writers related that history, those years, to our time. 5/9
The volume’s first writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project @nhannahjones writes from Aug. 20, 1619 to Aug. 19, 1624. The volume’s final writer, Black Lives Matter co-founder @aliciagarza writes from Aug. 20, 2014 to August 19, 2019. 6/9
All 90 contributors are leaders in their fields. I can't wait to introduce them to you. The lineup is beyond belief. 7/9
FOUR HUNDRED SOULS has ten sections, each spanning forty years. Each section concludes with a poem. Sometimes history is best captured by poets—as these ten Black poets show. Indeed, the lives of Black Americans have been nothing short of poetic. 8/9
I can’t tell you how excited I am to get this volume in your hands. I wish 2/2/21 was tomorrow. But you can certainly pre-order today. #FourHundredSouls 9/9


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More from @DrIbram

7 Sep
They say it’s divisive to point to bad policies as the racial problem and not people. Meaning they think it’s unifying to go after certain racial groups as the problem. 1/11
They say it’s divisive to say the racial groups are equals. Meaning they think it’s unifying to claim certain racial groups are superior or inferior. 2/11
They say it’s divisive to recognize and respect different cultures. Meaning they think it’s unifying to tell proud cultural groups to assimilate into a supposedly superior White American culture. 3/11
Read 11 tweets
26 Aug
Have you ever wondered how so many people could allow thousands of Black people to be publicly lynched week after week, year after year in the 19th century and 20th century? Have you ever wondered how so many people could blame the victims of lynchings for their own deaths? 1/
Have you ever wondered how so many people feared the murdered and felt safe around the murderers? Have you ever wondered how decade after decade legislatures and governors and presidents and courts refused to deploy their power to stop the lynchings? 2/
No one should have to wonder anymore. Open your eyes to police violence. See how so many people keep responding. By treating police shooters as victims. By blaming Black victims for being shot in the back. By being outraged about Black rage. 3/
Read 4 tweets
24 Aug
My book, #HowToBeAnAntiracist, is, in part, my journal of awareness, reflection, and action. Introducing BE ANTIRACIST: A Journal for Awareness, Reflection, and Action.

#BeAntiracist drops on October 6, 2020. Pre-order now. 1/
penguinrandomhouse.com/books/667140/b… Image
What we say about the races, what we do about injustice determines what—not who—we are in each moment. But to determine what we are, we must define what racist and antiracist are in a clear and consistent way. #BeAntiracist 2/
penguinrandomhouse.com/books/667140/b… Image
After defining these terms, we can apply them to ourselves, to the ideas we express, to the policies we support, and to our action and inaction when staring in the face of inequities. #BeAntiracist 3/
penguinrandomhouse.com/books/667140/b… Image
Read 5 tweets
13 Aug
I am a full of thanks on this day, my 38th birthday. Two years ago, I didn’t know whether I’d see another birthday. I was dealing with stage 4 cancer, facing down a daylong cancer surgery with two different surgeons. 1/9
A year ago on my birthday, #HowToBeAnAntiracist dropped. I was excited as I was worried. 2/9
It is not easy to release a book where you are incredibly vulnerable and incredibly ashamed, a book debunking how many people understand racism,

Read 9 tweets
5 Aug
How did it come to this? A racial reckoning. An antiracist revolution. My cover essay for the Sept. issue @TheAtlantic argues America is ending its denial. No president has caused more Americans to stop denying the existence of racism than Donald Trump. 1/
As Trump’s horrific presidency hopefully nears its end, Americans should be thankful to him in only one respect. He has shown Americans what Americans did not want to see. 2/
He has held up a mirror to American society, and it has reflected back a grotesque image that too many people had until now refused to see: an image not just of the racism still coursing through the country, but also of the reflex to deny that reality. 3/
Read 7 tweets
4 Jul
Perhaps the greatest anti-slavery speech ever uttered is “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” by Frederick Douglass, in 1852. I wanted to make the speech more accessible. Here’s a thread with an abridged version of the speech we should reread every #FourthofJuly. 1/
The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th of July oration. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. 2/
"I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment." 3/
Read 39 tweets

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