Smarty Pants Podcast

The Gray Edges of Blackness

Emily Bernard’s essays explore her own experience of race in America

By Stephanie Bastek | February 22, 2019
Alison Segar

Emily Bernard has offered her essays to The American Scholar since 2005, when we published “Teaching the N-Word.” She’s written a lot of essays since then, essays that prove their etymology: the French word essayer—to try. She tries on different ways of thinking about what it means to be black, or the mother of daughters adopted from Ethiopia, or married to a white man, or the American daughter of a Trinidadian father. She joins us on the podcast to sort through the questions—and some of the answers—that form the heart of her new collection, Black Is the Body.

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