Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

Black Voices, Black Voters

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Tiffany D. Cross
Say It Loud

Tiffany D. Cross is an on-air political analyst and cable newsroom veteran. Her latest book, Say it Louder!, draws on her own experiences in the media and how the misrepresentation of Black people changes the landscape of modern elections. Cross provides an examination of the role of Black Americans in American democracy and analyzes the history of suppression and subversion against Black voters. Kirkus Reviews calls it “A compelling exploration of how black voters have the power to shape the country's future.”

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Chryl N. Laird
Steadfast Democrats

Chryl N. Laird is an assistant professor of government and legal studies at Bowdoin College. Her research and commentary have been published in academic journals including the American Political Science Review and featured on media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Laird has received several awards for her research and teaching. Her book (co-written with Ismail White) Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior examines how Black partisanship to the Democratic party is maintained through Black social networks and political norms.

Leah Wright Rigueur
The Loneliness of the Black Republican

Leah Wright Rigueur is the Harry Truman Professor of American History at Brandeis University. Her work focuses on twentieth-century United States political and social history and modern African American history, with an emphasis on race, political ideology, the American two-party system, the presidency, and civil rights. Many outlets have featured her work, including MSNBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Politico, and many others. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Hutchins Center for African American Research. Rigueur’s latest book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power, examines the story of Black conservatives in the Republican Party. It won several awards including the James P. Hanlan Book Award, and the Crader Family Book Prize in American Values. Corey D. Fields says, “Rigueur provides a powerful addition to wider scholarship on black political behavior."

Buy The Loneliness of the Black Republican

Callie Crossley hosts Basic Black on GBH 2, the longest-running program on public television concerning communities of color. She also hosts Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, a weekly program on 89.7 GBH sharing voices of our community. She appears on Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage and contributes a weekly commentary on 89.7 GBH’s Morning Edition. A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Crossley is also a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, focusing on media literacy, politics and the intersection of race, gender and media. Her work has received broad acclaim, with Basic Black most recently earning the prestigious 2020 Governors Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Boston/New England Chapter. She is the first African American to win an Oscar nomination in the Documentary Feature category, for the “Bridge to Freedom” segment in Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years. She has won many of the region’s and nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 2019 Yankee Quill, New England’s highest journalistic honor. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Arts from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Cambridge College.


At the same time that racism is being used as a call to action by Republicans, Black voters are poised to be the determining voter block in 2020.  On-air political analyst and founder of The Beat, Tiffany Cross examines how the political system has excluded Black voters and how the media has been complicit in her "lively memoir and polemic," Say It Louder! Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy.  Bowdoin professor of government Chryl Laird, co-author of Steadfast Democrats, argues that Black voters are uniquely influenced by the social expectations of other Black Americans to prioritize the struggle for equality. Laird’s work explores how Black political norms are enforced and what it means for the future of Black politics. In her award-winning book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican, Leah Wright Rigueur, the Harry Truman Professor of American History at Brandeis University, adds fascinating texture to the discussion with her study of conservative Black activists who fought to influence Republican policy. This discussion, led by Callie Crossley, host of Under the Radar on GBH Radio, is essential pre-election viewing. Sponsored by the Wagner Foundation, with media sponsorship by GBH.