Clint Smith. Photo: Carletta Girma

Clint Smith. Photo: Carletta Girma

UNCA Commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.

Author and journalist Clint Smith will explore Civil Rights movements over the decades.

Clint Smith. Photo: Carletta Girma
Clint Smith.
Photo: Carletta Girma

UNC Asheville will welcome award-winning author and journalist Clint Smith for its annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at 7 p.m in the Lipinsky Auditorium.

Smith’s keynote address, “Our History, Reimagined,” is free and open to all. No advanced registration or tickets are required.

In his “Our History, Reimagined” address, Smith will explore Civil Rights movements over the decades, as well as how memorials tie into our perceptions and collective memories of these eras, asking the audience to consider complicated truths about the United States and ruminate on how this history has shaped the contemporary social, political and cultural landscape of our world today.

Clint Smith is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is the author of the narrative nonfiction book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, which was a number one New York Times Bestseller and a 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner for Nonfiction. He is also the author of the poetry collection Counting Descent, which won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.

Outside of his work as a writer, Smith is the host of the YouTube series Crash Course Black American History. His two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” collectively have been viewed more than 9 million times.

Previously, Clint taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He currently teaches writing and literature in the D.C. Central Detention Facility.

For more information, please visit

This event is part of UNC Asheville’s Equity & Arts series and is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office, Office of Institutional Equity, Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Key Center, and the Humanities Program.


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