Bonus Interview: Imani Perry Travels ‘South to America’

In her book, Imani Perry journeys south, below the Mason-Dixon, to explain the painful history of what she calls "the soul of a nation."

Listen 49:14
(Author Imani Perry / Ecco)

(Author Imani Perry / Ecco)

If you’re from the South, live there, have visited or even just skim headlines about the region, you probably have an opinion on this distinct area of the United States. Princeton University African American studies professor IMANI PERRY argues understanding the complicated history and character of the South as the nation’s heartland is key to understanding America.

In South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, she explores the varied land and much of its painful history as she searches for her enslaved ancestors. From Maryland to Texas, to her birthplace of Birmingham, Perry narrates her travels, the memories visited, and answers questions about how life in the South has shaped the culture of a nation.

From the archive, we revisit our interview with Perry, whose work continues to receive collective praise for her framing of history and politics in the United States.

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