Podcast | Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain on making ‘Four Hundred Souls’

The historians discuss how they curated so many voices of the community and which contributions kept them up at night and brought them to tears.

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Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain

Keisha N. Blain and Ibram X. Kendi, editors of 'Four Hundred Souls.' (Courtesy photos)

It's impossible to tell the complete story of the United States of America without talking about the experience of Black Americans. Yet Americans can't agree on exactly how much of that history should be taught in our schools. 

The Black experience has played a part in the long-accepted version of American History. The Underground Railroad, Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement, for instance, are all parts of the country's story that should be familiar to most Americans. 

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But now, a new generation of historians and journalists is bringing forward the experiences of more Black Americans, revealing that there is much more to their stories and to the history of the country.  

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we feature a conversation from the 2021 Crosscut Festival with Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, two leading lights in the effort to deepen Americans' understanding of the Black experience and the country's history. In conversation with journalist Soledad O’Brien, they discuss why this history is essential and how it came together.


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