Kiese Laymon on book bans, white supremacy and the US South

The best-selling author of Heavy: An American Memoir talks to Marc Lamont Hill about the factors that shape Black identity.

“We’ve always done direct action, and that direct action was predicated on doing what the state did not want us to do, which is to look back with accuracy, with acuity, and then make a direct action based on what we actually see,” Kiese Laymon says of Black communities in the Deep South of the United States.

“It’s hard to do that. It’s hard to do that now with the nation, politicians, social media, and everything, convincing us that, that which we saw and know, we do not see or know,” the best-selling author says of the recent efforts by politicians and groups to ban hundreds of book titles, most of them to do with the experiences of racial minorities and LGBTQ people.

On UpFront, author, professor of English and creative writing at Rice University, and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Kiese Laymon, joins Marc Lamont Hill to discuss Black identity and systemic racism in the American South.