Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing
“One of the nation’s most prominent civil rights leaders” (Washington Post), a New York Times bestselling author, community organizer, investigative journalist, Ivy League professor, and former head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous draws from a life lived on America’s racial fault line to deliver a series of gripping and lively parables that call on each of us to reconcile, heal, and work fearlessly to make America one nation.
Never Forget Our People Were Always Free illuminates for each of us how the path to healing America’s broken heart starts with each of us having the courage to heal our own.The son of parents who had to leave Maryland because their cross-racial marriage was illegal, Ben Jealous’ lively, courageous and empathetic storytelling calls on every American to look past deeply-cut divisions and recognize we are all in the same boat now. Along the way Jealous grapples with hidden American mysteries, including:
- Why do white men die from suicide more often than black men die from murder?
- How did racial profiling kill an American president?
- What happens when a Ku Klux Klansman wrestles with what Jesus actually said?
- How did Dave Chappelle know the DC Snipers were Black?
- Why shouldn't the civil rights movement give up on rednecks?
- When is what we have collectively forgotten about race more important than what we actually know?
- What do the most indecipherable things our elders say tell us about ourselves?
Told as a series of parables, Never Forget Our People Were Always Free features intimate glimpses of political, and faith leaders as different as Jack Kemp, Stacey Abrams, and the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu and heroes as unlikely as a retired constable, a female pirate from Madagascar, a long lost Irishman, a death row inmate, and a man with a confederate flag over his heart.
More than anything, Never Forget Our People Were Always Free offers readers hope America’s oldest wounds can heal and her oldest divisions be overcome.
Praise for Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing
“Ben Jealous appeals to our ‘better angels’ through storytelling that is riotously funny, deeply moving, and profoundly insightful. He is utterly brilliant, and his work to bridge our differences has never been more important.” — Henry Louis Gates Jr.
“Never Forget Our People Were Always Free offers a timely meditation on the challenges we must continue to confront, and the progress made, as we pursue our common humanity.” — Stacey Abrams
“Never Forget is powerful and poignant, but it is also proudly optimistic in many ways.” — Walter Isaacson
“Never Forget is rooted in the powerful hope that we can solve our country’s most Difficult problems by working together.” — Van Jones
“Never Forget is a must-read manifesto of what’s possible when we center love, faith, and aspiration in our common cause.” — April Ryan, Author of Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem
“Through a series of poignant vignettes and conversations with often extraordinary people, Ben Jealous taps into universal truths about the Black experience and shows us how we heal and grow.” — Elie Mystal, author of Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution
“Ben Jealous uses a warm and captivating writing style to show us that the original state of the human being is freedom.” — Robert F. McDonnell, former governor of Virginia
“Few individuals can tell a story as authentically and entertainingly as Ben Jealous.” — Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of League of Women Voters