Vox Conversations

Vox Conversations brings you discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light. Join Sean Illing, Jamil Smith, and their colleagues across the Vox newsroom for new episodes every Monday and Thursday.



Clint Smith III on confronting the legacy of slavery

Vox's Jamil Smith talks with author Clint Smith III about his book How the Word Is Passed, which documents the writer's personal journey visiting sites that embody the legacy of American slavery. They discuss the power of this re-confrontation, how to bridge the gaps in education and awareness of America's past, and the experience of Black writers in a nation that is "a web of contradictions."

Host: Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith), Senior Correspondent, Vox

Guest: Clint Smith III (@ClintSmithIII), Staff writer, The Atlantic


  • How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (Little, Brown; 2021)
  • "Why Confederate Lies Live On" by Clint Smith (The Atlantic; May 10)
  • "The lost neighborhood under New York's Central Park" by Ranjani Chakraborty (Vox; Jan. 20, 2020)
  • "The Statue of Liberty was created to celebrate freed slaves, not immigrants, its new museum recounts" by Gillian Brockell (Washington Post; May 23, 2019)
  • "No, the Civil War didn't erase slavery's harm" by W. Caleb McDaniel (Houston Chronicle; July 12, 2019)
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones Issues Statement on Decision to Decline Tenure Offer at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and to Accept Knight Chair Appointment at Howard University (NAACP Legal Defense Fund; July 6)
  • Crash Course: Black American History, hosted by Clint Smith

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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Editor: Amy Drozdowska
  • VP, Vox Audio: Liz Kelly Nelson

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 2021-08-26  1h1m