Banned Books Week is an important moment to discuss stories that get suppressed, ignored, or distorted. Carol Anderson's work has been at middle of efforts to suppress those stories.
On January 6, 2021, armed insurrectionists besieged the United States Capitol in the name of patriotism. To some, it was an unexpected and shocking attack on democracy. To others, it was a noble attempt to rescue a nation on the brink of collapse. For Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, the insurrection was a predictable coda to more than two centuries of deeply entrenched American myths.
To kick off Banned Books Week, Anderson and Nadine Farid Johnson of PEN/America will explore the full meaning of the events of January 6, 2021, following a screening of "I, Too."
Anderson's work contends with attempts to silence or distort crucial narratives, a key concern that Banned Books Week seeks to address. Her book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide has been challenged.
What happens, Andersons asks, when we discover that the history we teach our children is comprised of fables not facts; when the gulf between soaring rhetoric and cynical policy is too wide to ignore; when white supremacy is allowed to thrive? In "I, Too," Anderson embarks on a journey to shine a light on stories that reveal how we reached this inflection point in American history, as we strive to narrow the gap between who we say we are as a nation…and who we actually are.
About the speakers:
Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, a New York Times Bestseller, Washington Post Notable Book of 2016, and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. She is also the author of Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955; Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960, and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy, which was long-listed for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Galbraith Award in non-fiction.
Nadine Farid Johnson serves as the Managing Director of PEN America Washington and Free Expression Programs. A multidisciplinary leader with a longtime focus in foreign policy and constitutional issues, she has a breadth of experience across the public and private sectors. In Washington, Nadine spearheads PEN America’s engagement with the United States government on free expression issues in the U.S. and around the globe, focusing on matters of foreign policy, tech policy, privacy, press freedom, and educational censorship.
This event is held in partnership with PEN/America and the Bertelsmann Foundation.