Book Projects–Coming in 2021

Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s searing speech about the brutality she’d endured because, as a voting rights activist, she wanted black Americans “to become first-class citizens,” made primetime before the 1964 DNC officially kicked off. (Bettmann via Getty Images)

Over the past few years, I have been working on several book projects and I am excited to share that two will be published in 2021. The first project is a collection I edited with my friend and fellow historian Ibram X. Kendi. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 is a choral history of African Americans covering 400 years in the voices of 80 writers and 10 poets. The book will be published by One World/Random House Press. Please watch this space for more details on the project in the coming months. For now, please pre-order a copy. You’ll want to have this beautiful volume as part of your collection of books.

Later in the year, my second solo-authored book will be published by Beacon Press. Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America is an exploration of Hamer’s ideas and political philosophies, drawing on the activist’s writings, speeches, and interviews during the 1960s and 1970s. The book blends intellectual history and social commentary and grapples with several key themes, including racism, poverty, and violence. I’ve written a few op-eds that offer a glimpse into the project. Be sure to read my earlier piece on Hamer in Time magazine. Most recently, I wrote about Hamer’s voting rights activism for Smithsonian Magazine and I examined Hamer’s ideas on American democracy for In the coming months, I’ll share more details on the project here and add the pre-order links as soon as they are up on the Beacon site.

I look forward to sharing these two projects with all of you in 2021. Thanks, as always, for your kind support.