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Bonus: How Can We Get Americans to Talk Honestly About Slavery?

Jamelle Bouie talks with LeVar Burton about remaking Roots and understanding American history.


Episode Notes

“How do we get Americans to talk honestly about slavery?”

That question was the subject of a sold-out symposium on Sept. 17, 2015, organized by Slate and George Washington University. It was a capstone event for the History of American Slavery, hosted by history writer Rebecca Onion and chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie.

Bouie interviewed LeVar Burton, the actor known for his role in the 1977 television miniseries Roots. Burton is also executive produced a remake of the series for A&E Networks.

Other featured speakers:

• Nancy Bercaw, Mary Elliott, and Paul Gardullo, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
• Jennifer James, director of the Africana Studies Program at George Washington University
• Joseph McGill, director of the Slave Dwelling Project
• Dolen Perkins-Valdez, best-selling author of Balm and Wench
• Michael W. Twitty, chef and blogger at Afroculinaria
• Kamau Sadiki, vice president, National Association of Black Scuba Divers

About the Show

With the help of acclaimed historians and writers, Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore the history of American slavery and examine how the institution came to shape our country’s politics, economy, and culture.

Don’t miss Rebecca and Jamelle’s follow-up podcast, Reconstruction.

This series was made possible by Slate Plus members. To help Slate make more projects like this, become a member now.

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  • Jamelle Bouie is a New York Times opinion columnist. He was formerly Slate’s chief political correspondent.