Skip to main content

tv   2021 J. Anthony Lukas Prize  CSPAN  May 22, 2021 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

7:00 pm
♪ >> book tv in prime time starts now prefers the j anthony lucas prize awarded to honor the best in american nonfiction writing. then reports on the creation of space tourism company virgin galactic followed by democratic senator mazie hirono of hawaii of her life and career in politics. on "after words" bread stone reports on the growth and evolution of amazon and profiles its founders jeff bezos. schedule more information or consult your program guide. now, here's this year's j anthony lucas book prize. >> good evening. from the nieman foundation for journalism at harvard. i am delighted to welcome you to a conversation with the
7:01 pm
winner of the 2021j anthony prize but as we gather tonight we invite you to leave a post in the chat telling us where you're watching from an if you tells what you are reading. together with her colleagues from the journals in school resent this award each year to the best american nonfiction book of published and in progress that demonstrates the literary grace, series research and social concerns that characterize the work of the award's namesake. along with the history prize the celebrant the nation's most extraordinary authors and writing of the past two decades. was the winner of two pulitzer prices the first in 1968 for investigative reporting at the "new york times", the second 18 years later a turbulent decade in the lives of three american families. his landmark book of
7:02 pm
segregation and bussing and boston. it remains for many journalists and authors a standardbearer for longform narratives. tony's work had many virtues. but i wanted to mention just one that has special residents today. he listened without judgment, without accusations went of the subjects of common ground in the excruciating of his research reminded us of the cleansing power of choice. with the material taught there can be a richness even a kind of nobility in the ordinariness of everyday life. elect to express my gratitude for the family especially for their ongoing support of this project into the teams of people at columbia and kristine k deepest thanks for this year's prized judges who
7:03 pm
took on a huge assignment, marion power, sarah, alex, julia keller, leon, peterkin a, pamela newkirk, and rachel louise snyder part i not welcome my colleagues will read the pulitzer prize winning historian university professor at harvard she will moderate the conversation with the prizewinner, professor? spectacular much for that introduction. very happy to be earthy winners of the luke in progress towards only book prize awards as well. going to have a discussion going alphabetically emily is a writer and researchers whose based in washington d.c. won the award for addiction inc.
7:04 pm
the corporate takeover america treatment industry pretty possible epidemic. next we have casey partner a freelance reporter who covers people, poverty and education for her book diary of a misfit. now to the book prizewinners j anthony book prize goes to jessica kudo who one for after the last border to families in the story of refuge in america. and finally the mark lytton history prize william g thomas the third one for question of freedom the family to challenge slavery from the nations founding to the civil war. congratulations to all of you. i would like to ask of you, all of you to store, it is a big deal to undertake writing
7:05 pm
a book. committing yourself to living with a >> for years at a time. what was the spark that made you write the book? and tell us a little bit about your >>. let's start with emily. >> sure. ed is such an honor to speak with you as a historian your work is incredible and a real inspiration and light for people like me. so thank you. my work started with the death of a friend from high school who hanged himself in the fall 2016 for his death was not specifically drug related but he still felt he was potentially a victim of the epi- weight epidemic because he'd been using opioids for about 15 years prior to his
7:06 pm
death. so i began researching why he had died and how he could've been saved. i've been a historian now for about ten years. i have a lot of connections to clinicians and doctors who are familiar with this field. i asked them what i could have done or what we could have done to save my son. they all said he really should have been on medicaid treatment is on the three fda approved drugs for. [inaudible] if you bid on what are these three fda approved drugs which are considered the gold standard of addiction treatment, he would have possibly been okay. i was shocked by this. i've been studying drug fiction now for a decade. there's no opinion about anything when it comes to drug history, treatments or understanding of this field. i was shocked by this.
7:07 pm
i began researching the history of these three drugs. you might be familiar with recently the biden administration and i realize these three drugs are old. methadone was developed by germany during world war ii as it working substitute. he was in the mid- 1960s for their old drugs being marketed as new drugs and the opioid has numbered over 90000 in the past year. i realize this is not facility cure i began researching the history of these three instances be the gold standard quite convoluted. there's more corruption on a
7:08 pm
drive towards pride of privatization with a very large epidemic with best possible response we can have two it is in deficient expensive and old. my friend could not have necessarily been saved by these drugs with a larger more holistic response. that is where this project has come from. >> casey? connect yes, ma'am. thank you so much for being here it is a huge honor to share this digital space with you. like emily back in 2000 when i was yea as living in mississippi at the time. after i did my pastor asked god to basically say kill me. he did a save her prayer the
7:09 pm
idea was i would ask for forgiveness and die immediately. my mother wrote a letter to every professor at my college telling them that i was yea, i was going to go to hell it was the school's fault everything she thought about me she wanted to throw up. so i went home the summer after my freshman year of college and try to prove to my family i was not evil. and on the fourth of july we're having a barbecue dinner and my uncle stared at me over the meat. he said if you ever heard of sodom and gomorrah? i am like i am live in louisiana i've heard of sodom and gomorrah. he said god destroyed a whole nation to get rid of homosexuality, what makes you think he would not destroy you? my mom got really upset, re- into the bathroom and started crying. iran in there after her
7:10 pm
instead i thought i could maybe fix it. told her i was not going to be yea anymore. my grandma came in there and set a bunch of words that i cannot say. but essentially told her to get over it. then my grandma pulled me aside that afternoon and said i grew up across from the street as a woman who lived like a man. i was like what? my grandma was a sharecropper and she grew up in rural louisiana. this was outside of my understanding of what rural louisiana could be like. she said he played country music and was the star of her street. there is a mystery the woman who raised him she was a native american woman. and on her deathbed she told my great-grandmother down into her deathbed it was like reading man, roy is as much a woman as you are imo
7:11 pm
woman. and she confessed she'd stolen him supposedly from an abusive family in arkansas. and change him into a boy and raised him in this tiny town where they also pick cotton. my grandma was like i want you to go find out what happened. that was 20 years ago. my book is also about cotton and family and religion and a bunch of other things. >> organ get back to the book. the preliminary matters here. jessica? yes. first of all i free with emily. thank you so much for having us tonight. i know so many people put so much work into the middle of a endemic economic margaret for the beer tonight so thank you. for me this is relational.
7:12 pm
i started a nonprofit will i was in graduate school and had known former refugees for more than a decade. sitting there in austin, texas i realize there is a role for a mediator who had long-term relationships but is not herself a refugee. feel like my job in this book was to hide what needed to be hidden and tell what needed to be told. it was from that vintage point of someone who had been in relationship with these people for a long time and for me but could not be possible that the two women who took too many are to tell their story. i want to make sure i am centering luna and the sentiment synonyms these women use their uncompromising courage and wanting the world to know what happened in emr and what is still happening i was so honored to be a part of process for them. >> will?
7:13 pm
>> yes thank you. again thank you for this evening. it's wonderful to be here with you all and thank you for the lucas prizes and the nieman foundation columbia university. i started in a very academic way. i had stumbled upon a reference to a supreme court case in 1813 that was eight freedom suit. a suit brought by an enslaved person for their freedom. and for their child's freedom. i did not know much about freedom sits at the time i knew about the dread scott case the infamous, notorious, the most notorious case in american history that was much later that was right before the civil war. he was this freedom suit earlier in american history and i went to the national
7:14 pm
archives and somewhat on a lark i asked for the case file from the archivist at the national archives. they brought out an index that had all of the cases brought before the d.c. court in the early. when i opened it was in 1813 date and the court term became clear that the family who brought that freedom suit five, six, seven, eight other freedom suit. so what began as a story of one freedom suit quickly became a story of a family's pursuit of freedom across many generations. and as i trace that case back in time to the maryland earlier history, hundreds of freedoms could so i just did not know existed.
7:15 pm
so change my entire understanding of this period, from the instability of the law and how important these cases were collectively and individually. as i started to pull the threads of the freedom suit i tried to follow them back in time and forward in time. what happened to queen who lost her freedom suit in the supreme court. what happened to her daughter? what happened to their descendents? and as i pursued this research also became clear that my family and prince georges county at about that time was involved in some these freedom suits. they were lawyers and judges and they defended slaveholders. they were slaveholders themselves.
7:16 pm
i had to reckon with this history throughout the research. as i did so i came into contact with all of the families were descendents of the families who sued for freedom. on promises and dockets and those conversations today made this history palpable and real in a way i had not experienced before. that kept me going through this entire work. >> you describe yourself as the drug researchers, a historian of drugs. what is the most important lesson you have learned, not just doing this book but overall and looking at this particular industry? that is a controversial industry. people love it or hate it some
7:17 pm
people admire some aspects of it are concerned about others, what is the primary thing you learned about? what you think about is the industry as a whole? >> that is a great question. this feels the for my previous book as well both for and against the drug. the biggest take away i have gotten is drugs themselves are a nurse substances. they exist on their own. they do nothing on their own. when they're in the human body they have some kind of they go after these saxons when they're suddenly and need for either legislative or moralistic control over them. that is a restart to burden them with a lot of concepts
7:18 pm
and ideas. either these things are good the idea medication can be used specifically to control very fascinating one. still quite early into this process i can't get into archives i cannot get into presidential libraries is the moment is closed off to me and learned to me at least drugs about the most interesting things in the world. there human characteristics placed upon these inert substances we demand a lot of and then we place a lot of meeting upon them. discovering projects i really
7:19 pm
enjoy doing. in one way i first book was about marijuana. so here i am pittsburgh why do we have such a strange, you describe in this as ambivalence relationship with drugs but with the idea of also drugs that can solve addiction why do we have this connection to it or this response to drugs? >> it is specifically about the response is just one aspect of drug addition which is to opioid addiction. there are no other medications that are specifically available we are starting to
7:20 pm
begin to understand the scientific work room for other substances. one substance is used for opioid addiction may potentially be useful for methamphetamine addiction as well. opioid has been a problem united states since the late 19h century we've had three distinct bouts of opioid overdose epidemic. in the early 1900s and 1970s and now today. primarily these have been by the medical industry. we see this now with solace back in the 19th century with widespread prescription of morphine. opioids are such -- they wait very heavily on the american psyche. this is a drug the people return to time and time again in ways we don't necessarily return to with other
7:21 pm
substances. it is also a drug family that has substitution theory. which is if you give these people who are struggling with opioid dependency their house in the family of medicine as opposed to the family of illicit drugs they continue to live these very productive lives. we do not have a lot of situations where that is an issue. is it necessarily the solution? i know people or it has essentially saved their lives for this is in no way a denunciation of these substances. it is however a denunciation of the substance exists. their availability to people who are desperately in need of them. we have a problem right now over the past 20 years were opioids are widely available now are looking to wear their more powerful. basically adulterated the
7:22 pm
illicit drug supply almost all forms of illicit substances. we do need something to combat this problem because overdoses are very serious problem. make them more available and to make drug treatment more holistic to treat the whole human problem simply allowing someone to pay a lot of money for one specific substance whatever it is there on the street puts >> moving out of the criminal justice system. the criminal justice system did not do anything for addiction. and it never has. this is been in debate since the 1920s but we see the ramifications specifically in the war on drugs now 30 year -- going on 40 year war
7:23 pm
have treated those struggling with dependence and addiction with punitive ramifications just throw them in jet which of course is going to do nothing for the situation. there has to be a better solution. >> yours is a very personal story i've just come off of writing a memoir myself. something i do not typically, that's not my typical area, not the typical way of working. i was somewhat of an adjustment to make. your book is described as a part of memoir and part investigative reporting. what was the easier part to do? was it difficult for you to go into the realm of memoir and talk about yourself? >> i had to be dragged there. i definitely have been working on it for more than a decade
7:24 pm
at different times to ask me to it put myself in it i really did not want to. we filmed everything the person who went with me to it film everything would make me do these video interviews at the end of every night. i look like such a jerk and all of them. i hate being interviewed, sorry. [laughter] i like to do the questioning and disappear in the room. i just said no for a long time. and eventually people talked me into believing it was the best version of the story. in part because i went down there to write about roy but i learned a ton about my family. and the reasons i went down there were personal it's it really tiny town it's populated by my family. i just got back from my editor on my first draft.
7:25 pm
some about probing myself further have found it really difficult. it's much easier and more interesting to read about other people. >> is it a hesitancy about revealing yourself? it's about talking about family? the difficulty for me as memoirs are not just about you, it's about your relationship with other people. >> i am not personally private. i am surrounded by private people. most of my family members have died since i started working out so they are not around to protest anymore. i don't think they would anyway, they love to talk. it's not that. i find i am less interesting than other people. interesting to me.
7:26 pm
intimate writing is the worst part of writing. to me the most fun part is getting to know somebody and learn everything about a place and i know enough about myself. actually don't not write back to my editor today i don't know myself. maybe i don't. i write newspaper articles and magazine articles and i like doing that. also a little bit nervous of my career. once i show up to go interview someone there's a whole book out with anything anymore people might want to know about me. it's happening now i guess. >> that makes sense. being a historian, being a journalist you have a >> that is outside of you. you are not a part of it. you do not want to make
7:27 pm
yourself too much of a part of it. it's about the other person. that is completely understandable. i'm just wondering how you overcame that? was your friend telling you this was the better story? because they like stories too. >> the best story to tell pretty said you learned a lot about your family was at just from the interviewing? >> i initially went down there to write about roy was a country singer who grew up across the street from my grandma. i initially thought i would roll into town and rope to microfiche machine would be like to be stolen i be like i'm done for there's no such article. the newspapers back in or about rich people the other rich people they visited. there's not a ton of news. i realize the only way to learn about roy was a talking
7:28 pm
to people. i was a little bit nervous i look like a look. about the local transgender person. i start a lot with my family knew roy and interviewed them. a lot of times wanted to talk about themselves. other family members would help me they would run sound for me or they would put up flyers for me and kind of in the in between moments we learn things. i would stay at my grandma's house and would stamp late in the carport talking. a lot of it was just incidental stuff around the actual story. and then when i sat down to write it this way i had a lot of this stuff i had dismissed is not a part of it became more interesting to me. and interestingly, my family has a lot of -- their stories
7:29 pm
are indicative of the south. they all picked cotton, my mother was an opioid addict. she passed away a couple of years ago from it. so the book gets into a lot of different times my mom is on pain pills forward trying to report this story. it's kind of like a fruit salad of southern issues. but there's journalism to. >> jessica? your book deals with a very thorny issue obviously. what is the problem? what you think is the chief source of the problem with the situation in the united states? we bill ourselves as a nation of immigrants. we like to see ourselves as a welcoming from other countries. what is the source of this
7:30 pm
disconnect between our image of ourselves and the reality you are describing about the difficulties people have? >> that is such a great question. i began this research i would've thought the answer would be policy. we need to change the political system. i think from now having done research and talked with a lot of people the answers public opinion. i think shifted and there are a number of factors the end of post 911 it was memes coming out of europe, syrians were crossing the border. here in texas like to think about this is that national thing. i felt like it was the beginning of it and many ways but the texas governor and other figures here were kind of leading the charge senators in terms of rhetoric. when the program passed it
7:31 pm
passed the senate unanimously. i did not believe that fact when i first read it because i just cannot imagine immigration bill passing the senate. but is so widely supported and of course this is what we are going to do, for me image of what we have to be a refugee in the reality to be a refugee are two different things. there needs to be really widespread public shift around the difference between refugees economic migrants silent seek but the program actually meant i had so many conversations but inherent offset i know a lot of people really hate refugees. if at a lot of conversations when i described them she wants to be with her kids they have no choice or they supposed to do question ricketson of course moments. i think somehow if we can bridge the disconnect between those two things with what we need to do.
7:32 pm
>> i don't expect you have a total answer what is your opinion what you think happened you're describing something like turning a corner where people all of the sudden shut off. as it influenced by, you mentioned europe. the scenes of syrians and after the iraq war said the domino effect of all of that playing a role in all of this the internal forces why were people able to capitalize the negative feelings in this way and result in this change in understanding about all of this? is it race? what is -- what do you think is empathy for this?
7:33 pm
>> i think the combination of things. i don't think that he one thing. this is been such a staggering time for many of us with conversations of both their different tracks inc. about how journalists have a tag immigration or tag race. think for recognizing these conversations are so part and parcel of a much larger issue that is happening. i do think this is racialized. we are seeing this in terms of that could predominately impact people from africa and the middle east. race is certainly a factor in that i think fears about were in a very xenophobic moment. i think the economy has somewhat to do with that as well. anytime we have economic fears and racialized moment and we have all of these kinds of things that are meeting together. there's such a wide spread quiet support for refugee involvement in first 40 years
7:34 pm
of the program there's not a need for information people across the political aisle or working well together in order to resettle people. i think it was a shock i felt shocked by someone who'd known refugees for a long time. it hit at a time there's not a great deal of outcry on behalf of refugees. i'm not sure that's going to happen again. when the biting it ministration they may not need that catalyst we will have been speaking out nursing such community outreach ready to speak out on behalf of vulnerable people. >> well, we know you have described this process of discovering these huge amounts of freedom suits that were filed much earlier than we
7:35 pm
think we know st. louis and the wonderful program they have their with all of the freedom on file and so forth. talk about the family members that you have discovered the descendents and the work you have done on these systems. can you why these particular families were on this area? what was the driving force of their feeling numbers have done it seems like an extraordinary thing to have these particular families keep this tradition live in this area. >> it was an extraordinary challenge to slavery. and i think that is the thing i realized as i was working on this research just how significant this challenge slavery was in maryland and in
7:36 pm
washington d.c. his freedom suits but individual slaveholders on trial. they essentially had to defend their slaveholding. also those freedom suits put slavery at large on trial. i think about these freedom suits in this way purrs a public counterpart to the underground railroad. families who are successful managed to liberate dozens of family members over successive generations. so i think these families in maryland, beginning in maryland were suing slaveholders for their families freedom. these are family -based efforts. i did not realize at first just how significant these were as family endeavors
7:37 pm
across generations. that legal knowledge that capacity of sophistication was passed down and spread. and it led to successive freedoms in maryland then in washington d.c. all week to the civil war. the point really is from day one of the united states, slavery was being challenged by these families as a matter of law. >> was the basis of some of these suits? a mother who was free, or native american, what was the basis of them? >> some of the initial freedoms as were based on ancestry. they were initially brought by of white women their claim to freedom as their white ancestor was free. but for the queen family and
7:38 pm
the mahoney family they were descendents of women of color. they were saying that their ancestors, in each case allow these families to introduce the whole question of slavery as a legal principle raise significant issues many could have made the claim slavery follows -- you fall the status of the mother was.
7:39 pm
they step foot in england therefore because she had been in england on english soil, she was free under english common law. over english decisions that rendered slavery illegitimate, odious in the law. incompatible with natural law and put all of those debates over slavery were being were being talked through in these court cases in maryland. now later, enslaved families brought freedom suits and washington d.c. based on a whole range of technical violations of the law that they could sue for freedom if
7:40 pm
a slaveholder did not in fact make good on a promise or on a deed. or because a will, the terms of a will were violated. there were all sorts of ways that enslaved families and they did so by the hundreds. went to ask all of you, these are different topics, they all require a great amount of legwork and so forth. what was most difficult hurdle that you had to cross in doing this work? any of you can jump in. to get to a point when you think this is really tough. i think i might not get past this or this is really, really
7:41 pm
hard for me to it work with, or peace of writing even. >> go-ahead. my first reporting trick back in 2009, roy's best friend told me he kept the diary every single day. like for decades. and his neighbor had stolen them all and i asked that man for the diary every year for ten years. and he said no. returning to that man and asking every single year after he tell me nope it's >> emily you're going to say something? speak that would be tough. that will be terrible. i continue to struggle with the pandemic right now i feel and really up against a lot of roadblocks with things that
7:42 pm
are un- open and unavailable to me. i am doing what i can from home. i am researching is much as i can and doing a lot of interviews over zoom, on the phone, but it has become frustrating. i'm really ready to get back into the papers and see what secrets are being hidden in the archives. >> will? >> sure. one of the things i struggle with the most and all historians do, is the silences in the archives. the families that brought these freedom suits did not leave testimony those legal records were not -- what happened in court literally was not preserved. so the voices of the enslaved
7:43 pm
families were not present. charles mahoney who brought one of the most important freedom suits this is a 12 year battle, legal battle it goes through three jury trials and to appeals. even though his voice is not present in those records, those records record his physical presence. and literally he was present for every deposition, every hearing, he was guiding this freedom suit not the attorneys. i really struggled with how to bring his story to life in a way that would illuminate his family, his determination, his courage and his effort to liberate himself and others. twelve years after he gains
7:44 pm
his freedom he purchases his daughter and freezer with a deed. this is a 24 year endeavor. and how to make it come live was a great challenge, i struggled with it. back yes, for me these stories complicated as it was was nothing compared to the stories of the women that i partnered with. they listen to massive trauma they would not be here otherwise. these stories are so deeply precious i was so afraid of damage and hurting them but also messing up in some way. each detail of each paragraph was collaged on over several interviews had such a desire
7:45 pm
for the truth of what they have experienced came through. also recognizing this deep urgency, these are so ongoing. what just happened and emr. i did a late night interview last night and they're saying basically we do not know for going to lose until tomorrow can you get the story out? for me recognizing the depth of the urgency of this is not an issue these are people separated from their families. they just want to be together with the grandchildren. that i think it's been the hardest thing to bring forth and also live. >> yes it is very intense. thank you very much for this printer going to take some questions right now from the audience. this is a question for emily. what mold do you think the family should play and those
7:46 pm
addicted to opioids? >> that is a great question. actually reading the new book about the history of the family right now which is great and i highly recommend it. in the 1970s, we approached opioid epidemic of the time to primarily heroin epidemic with a federally funded situation where there were over 300 drug treatment clinics open from methadone treatment which is the only fda approved it was kinda shady with the fda right now opioid substitution therapy at the time counseling, social services therapeutic committees and things like that. there are 300 of these clinics available in over 200 metropolitan areas across the country. these were free or very, very
7:47 pm
low cost for anyone who needed the services. you can just walk it and get them. doctor jerome was loves up the street for me outside of baltimore, he was in charge of this organization called the special action office out of the nixon administration. and he oversaw the development and evolution of these clinics and was in charge of federal refunding them. get the situation where anyone could come into a clinic, receive the services they felt necessary for them and no one would have to commit a crime because they were not able to get drug addiction services. that's an extraordinary moment especially for the nixon administration my god. those do not exist anymore in 1973 the whole thing was shut down nixon has been effectively reelected, watergate was crushing down on him. he felt as though he has the
7:48 pm
drug situation under control. the connection have been disrupted et cetera. he said by. told my 1-year-old daughter by two this whole system federally funded drug addiction clinics. if the families money was to be put to its best use i truly believe there's a billions of dollars could effectively fund situations just like we had in this country 50 years ago. run by jerome. if we had clinics where someone could walk in and find treatments, a variety of treatments opioid substitution therapy based in non- whatever it worked best for was working for at that time. if we had that i be an extraordinary movement towards this country but we don't. and what is going to funds, i
7:49 pm
am not in charge i do not want to be in charge. but if i were i would very much be revitalizing the system that was in place and doctor jaffe whom i've spoken to many times in the course of researching this book he does not want to be in charge either more either. he is approaching 90. even he says what we did years ago was effective. it would not be a bad idea to revitalize that program now. >> in question for casey as someone who grew up in the south but doesn't live there anymore, what are some common misconceptions of the south that you have encountered and how do you address them in the book? >> people are not the monoliths we pick them down to be. like most of my family members are super mega.
7:50 pm
but then they also have things ill and on like i an aunt who's on twitter entered twitter handles them like a. >> at 3000 and how she met she loves trump how sexy he is. but then she is like constantly sending me pro- yea things or asking me about my love life in a very loving way. as part of this book is like pre-caitlyn jenner our understanding of transgender issues now is way different when i started the book. people have kind of a strange ease that talking about it. some of them are like her mind it just did not match her body or people would get mad a lot of teachers would kick roy out for not wearing a dress to church. and people would get mad and fight for roy and not have to worry dress. they kind of took it as this light, this is who roy is.
7:51 pm
it would be wrong for him to be an address. like what you thinking? i think now we have this idea that everyone is super hateful. i think sometimes they do vote that way political becomes personal they are able to bend on it. most of the suspected in their living room but most of them did not say anything bad even tell me you could go to hell if you cut your hair your hair is really cute i wouldn't want to wear it because i don't go to hell but is cute on you. [laughter] they are just like a little bit more nuance than we give them credit for a thing. >> a question for you, will pay how many of the freedom suits were successful?
7:52 pm
>> that is a great question britt more than 50% in washington d.c. the cases we know the outcome more than 50% were successful. there are more than 500 freedom suits in washington d.c. before the civil war. in maryland i think the success rate was even higher, maybe 70%. once a family succeeded often these successive cases individually like dominoes come to the courts. they tried to interrupt that success is no question about that. the book is really about how the slaveholders and the enslaved are in this battle over the law, over the meeting of the law and over our freedom. >> if i may, what did the slaveholders do? they said they fought against this is they try to get the laws changed? did they bribe people?
7:53 pm
what was her primary way of fighting back? >> there certainly was intimidation. to file a freedom suit against an individual slaveholder you take them to cart or her to court was quite a dramatic challenge to their self understanding. and no less a figure than henry clay the secretary of state and presidential candidate. he is sued by charlotte in washington d.c. his reaction is fury. has her imprisoned in the deep-sea jail to try to slow down matters. i think some slaveholders in maryland i found evidence at the first to with of a freedom suit before it were filed intervened by selling the
7:54 pm
person to havana cuba. immediate reaction. which was a threat and a lesson to everyone around them. they also try to change the law and they did. just got what was the role of the interpretative is in translation the book? >> it's so hard to be up here and think about this it's a deeply community-based effort. there is a woman who partnered with me her name is ameena, it's a pseudonym she uses writing some other translation projects as well. i could not event any of this work not for ameena. translating that deep contextual. [inaudible] what this means. and so her fingerprints were all over the book. she herself is a translator.
7:55 pm
if such a joy i've known each other for more than a decade. in about six months after she arrived it was a real joy for me to it sit down with her in english and get to hear kind of the inside scoop of what had happened when she first arrived. i sought from the outside but to hear her tell her own version in her own voice was incredibly powerful. and because their families are in danger they don't get to centered with me at all. sabbatical casey, i have a transgender child who sees their eye that is gender floyd. religion is not an issue for us because we are all atheist. my child will also go to the university of camden probably live there. not as worried about their futures they might be if they continue to live in the u.s. i'm curious to ask you, how long do you think it will take for americans to move favorably towards transgender individuals as they have
7:56 pm
towards a yea and lesbian americans over the past decade? >> i think abortion we are in a very dire time there more than bills and interviews this session against trans people mostly trans kids. there 42 and women killed last year of the deadliest year for trans women of all times this year. certainly a bad time for people it's where we were in 2004 for yea rights we had 11 different states vote down same marriage. as living in mississippi at the time is 87% who vote against yea marriage and member the months after everywhere i went to be eyeing people knowing they did not want me to it ever get married and stood in line in the rain to ensure i didn't.
7:57 pm
it was not until 2015 that law change to the supreme court. so, i am not a psychic. but i would bet it is still a long ways. the good thing is that people know how to rally around these things now may be. a lot of times when things get really bad and some people get into action. i think sometimes conroy's case because he's only one in his town some people did not even know to be concerned there's nothing politicized he was just their neighbor but now people are so front and center there's an organized resistance to them. i think unfortunately that resistance is just beginning. i think it's going to be quite a bit. >> while unfortunately are out of time.
7:58 pm
but thank you all very much for a lively and illuminating discussion. to be righted in the chat you can purchase books by the wonderful authors the lucas prize winners are out, and the finalists at book culture that is in the chat. thank you all for coming to this. and we will say good night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ jeff reflect in his time at
7:59 pm
ceo general electric during the virtual event hosted by their bookstore in connecticut here's a portion of the program. >> i felt like it was a complicated story and that kind of truth equals effect plus context. i thought the context on ge had gone missing. that basically between the media and the public not defending itself what i wanted to do is add more facts about the good things we did in the bad things we did. i get a complete story out there that's really what i tried to do.
8:00 pm
have to operate the company but you cannot allow people to point fingers. that's not the reason why i wrote the book. i wrote the book to speak to to feel a more complete way around the country with which i wrote a prescription watch the rest of this program type jeff emil or the title of his book hot seat into the search box at the top of the page. >> hi there everyone. my name is mack i like to thank you on behalf of the bookstore for running tonight's event with us. love niclas is going to be in conversation discussing the neck new book the making of a modern astronaut. that included q&a portions of like to askla


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on