Image - Imani Perry

Past Event

Imani Perry: On the American South

The American South has always carved out a unique role in the American civic psyche. Even those who have never lived there can rattle off a list of signifiers from the area: the Civil War, Gone with the Wind, the Ku Klux Klan, plantations, football, barbecue, Jim Crow, slavery. Yet the South is far more complex than much of the country tends to acknowledge, even moreso with an in-migration of people from around the country over the past two decades.

In her new book, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, Princeton University Professor Imani Perry delves into the true character of the region and shows that the very meaning of America is inextricably linked with the South, and that the country's understanding of its history and culture, particularly as it relates to African-Americans, is the key to understanding the nation as a whole. Perry's book explores a range of personalities and stories from the South, from immigrant communities, contemporary artists, exploitative opportunists, enslaved peoples, unsung heroes, her own ancestors, and her lived experiences.

Please join us for illuminating conversation that will center the American South as critical to understanding the future of the United States.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

February 8, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Imani Perry

Imani Perry

Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University; Author, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

Image - Deesha Philyaw

In Conversation with Deesha Philyaw

Author, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies


12:30–1:30 p.m. program
(all times PST)