Daniel Brook - "The Accident of Color" - Ben Austen

Monday, November 25, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Daniel Brook

"A provocative, welcome [and] illuminating investigation . . . of race in America [that] shows how much we have lost by denying the reality that 'we are mestizos, Creoles, misfits all."—Kirkus Reviews

Daniel Brook discusses The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction. He will be joined in conversation by Ben Austen. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: A technicolor history of the first civil rights movement and its collapse into black and white, The Accident of Color tells the story of a lost civil rights movement, mostly in New Orleans and Charleston, that desegregated school districts, transit systems, lunch counters, and opera houses nearly a century before the better-known 1960s movement. Led by openly biracial activists who had been free before the Civil War and allies at the fringes of whiteness, the movement notched tremendous successes before being crushed in a violent political backlash. The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation’s singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.

About the author: Daniel Brook is a journalist and author whose writing has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, and The Nation. His last book, A History of Future Cities, was longlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize and selected as one of the ten "Favorite Books of 2013" by the Washington Post. Brook’s research and writing have been supported by fellowships from institutions including the Library of Congress and Tulane University’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. Born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, and educated at Yale, Brook lives in New Orleans.

About the interlocutor: Ben Austen is the author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing, which was named one of the best books of 2018 by Booklist, Mother Jones, and the public libraries of Chicago and St. Louis. A former editor at Harper’s Magazine, he is a senior fellow at the Invisible Institute and a story consultant on the podcast The City. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, GQ, The Best American Travel Writing, and many other publications.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637