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Download What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America Audiobook, by Michael Eric Dyson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Eric Dyson Narrator: to be announced Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 17, 2018 ISBN: 9781250295927
Coming Soon! The audiobook will be available for pre-order on March 27, 2018.Check back on that date to pre-order this title for the Apr 17, 2018 release!
Available for pre-order on: March 27, 2018

What Truth Sounds Like is a timely exploration of America's tortured racial politics that continues the conversation from Michael Eric Dyson's New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop.

President Barack Obama: "Everybody who speaks after Michael Eric Dyson pales in comparison.”

In 2015 BLM activist Julius Jones confronted Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with an urgent query: “What in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?” “I don’t believe you just change hearts,” she protested. “I believe you change laws.”

The fraught conflict between conscience and politics – between morality and power – in addressing race hardly began with Clinton. An electrifying and traumatic encounter in the sixties crystallized these furious disputes.

In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith’s relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.

Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. “I guess if I were in his shoes…I might feel differently about this country.” Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.

There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he’d never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for black dissent in our own time. His belief that black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys’ efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood.

The contributions of black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy – versus the racial experience of Baldwin – is a cudgel to excoriate black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate black interests persists. And we grapple still with the responsibility of black intellectuals and artists to bring about social change.

This audiobook exists at the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy – of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. The future of race and democracy hang in the balance. A must-listen for anyone interested in social justice and the future of America.

Download and start listening now!

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About the Author
Author Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books including April 4, 1968, Is Bill Cosby Right?, Presidential Race, and, I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. He is currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She’s currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at the Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In January of 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an internet troll who impersonated her dead father.