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Whose “American” Words to Transform(N)ations

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Friday, 11/18
10:45 am to 12:15 pm

From the “American Dream” to the “Nation of Immigrants,” the United States’ defining myths have planted and maintained a racist and selective history in the common imagination. What does it mean to become an “American," to claim belonging in a country built on genocide and enslavement? Racial Justice Reads 2022 opens with this stimulating panel of three attorneys turned authors who have taken up these types of questions in three very different genres. Deepa Iyer is author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, and the forthcoming Social Change Now: A Guide for Reflection and Connection. Kung Li Sun has—after years of tireless advocacy on the national and southern regional level—written Begin the World over, a “fictional alternate history of how the Founders’ greatest fear—that Black and indigenous people might join forces to undo the newly formed United States—comes true.” Sofia Ali Khan recently published her first book A Good Country: My Life in Twelve Towns and the Devastating Battle for a White America, which can be seen as a memoir of both a person and place. Together with Racial Justice Reads founder R. Cielo Cruz, this panel will delve into the personal and political struggles of telling an “American” story.