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A lamentation of slavery's legacy

Saidiya Hartman tells of her journey to Ghana to reckon with the lives undone by slavery in Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. Michelle Commander, University of Tennessee Assistant Professor of English and Africana, discusses the book in this podcast. "Lose Your Mother traces transatlantic slavery’s continued impact on the author and Black Americans in general," Commander says. "The institution of slavery is often described as the United States’ original sin, as it set the stage for what followed, including lynching, Jim Crow legislation, the denial of full citizenship rights to Black Americans, and other race-related injustices. By visiting and researching at the vestiges of slavery that exist on Ghana’s coastline, Hartman catalogs the history of dispossession and loss experienced by enslaved Black people and their descendants."

About the Podcast

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Knox Pods
Podcasts of Knox County Public Library

About your hosts

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Melissa Brenneman

Melissa listens to hours of podcasts on most days. She started the habit with the intention of taking long walks, but podcasts proved to be more addicting than exercise. She records, edits and mixes podcasts for the library.
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Alan May

Alan May works as a reference librarian at Lawson McGhee Library. In his spare time, he reads and writes poetry. May's most recent books are Dead Letters (2008) and More Unknowns (2014). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, New Orleans Review, Plume, and others.