Each of the two authors who spoke with Michael Harriot for The Root Institute have committed to telling our stories in ways that best represent the texture and richness of our lives. That mission has propelled them to take their passion on the road to learn more about their ancestry.
Bakari Sellers is the author of The New York Times best-selling book My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, which has been described as part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis – illustrating the lives of America’s forgotten black working-class men and women. He made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. His political career did not stop there. In 2014, Sellers won the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in South Carolina, and has also worked for United States Congressman James Clyburn and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. He is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and leading voice for his generation.
Morgan Jerkins is the New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America, which was longlisted for PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, and Wandering In Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots. Her third book, Caul Baby: A Novel, was released by Harper Books in April 2021.
Here Jerkins outlines the importance of telling our own truths, even if all we have is a kernel of information to begin with.
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