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Building on the content of his 2023 book, A Long Time Coming, in which he explores six biographies across the generations of Black Americans’ struggle for justice, Ray Shepard will reflect on the current status of voting rights in the United States and the ways they are shaping – and being shaped by – the upcoming 2024 national election. There will be time for questions and answers.

A Long Time Coming is an unflinching, thoughtful, instructive, and beautiful rendering of the African American journey from slavery to freedom and beyond. Students of all ages will benefit from reading it.” —RANDALL KENNEDY, Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School and author of Say It Loud! On Race, Law, History, and Culture.

“Full of daring escapes, deep emotion, and subtle lessons on how racism operates, A Long Time Coming reveals the universal importance of its subjects’ struggles for justice. From freedom seeker Ona Judge, who fled her enslavement by America’s first president to Barack Obama, the first Black president, all of Shepard’s protagonists fight valiantly for justice for themselves and all Black Americans any way they can.  But it is also a highly personal book, as Shepard—whose maternal grandfather was enslaved—shows how the grand sweep of history has touched his life, reflecting on how much progress has been made against racism, while also exhorting readers to complete the vast work that remains to be done.” Nerdy Book Review, December, 2023.

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