An Arlington Reads Signature Author Event. 

Join us for a conversation between author Imani Perry and Library Director Diane Kresh about Imani Perry's book "South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation.

Prior to the author talk, from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., the Washington Revels Heritage Voices will present songs and stories celebrating freedom and commemorating the Juneteenth holiday.

RSVP for an event reminder. Attendance is first-come, first-served until seating capacity is reached.

For more information, contact

This program is part of the Library's commemoration of Juneteenth.

Thursday, June 22, 2023
6:30pm - 8:00pm
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
Central Library
Events for Adults
Author Talk
Arlington Public Library
Registration has closed.

About the book

Perry’s work reflects the deeply complex history of Black thought, art, and imagination. It is also informed by her background as a legal historian and her understanding of the racial inequality embedded in American law. Her latest book, "South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation," is a narrative journey through the American South, positioning it as the heart of the American experiment for better and worse. In looking at the South through a historic, personal, and anecdotal lens, Perry asserts that if we do indeed want to build a more humane future for the United States, we must center our concern below the Mason-Dixon Line. A “rich and imaginative tour of a crucial piece of America” (Publishers Weekly) that was named one of TIME‘s most anticipated books of 2022, it debuted on The New York Times bestsellers list.

About the author

Born just nine years after the 16 Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, Imani Perry was instilled from an early age with a strong instinct for justice and progressive change. The rich interplay between history, race, law, and culture continues to inform her work as a critically-acclaimed author and the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Perry’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and Harper’s, among other publications. Future planned projects include an examination of African American theories of law and justice, and a meditation on the color blue in Black life. She earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Harvard University, a JD from Harvard Law School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Yale College in Literature and American Studies. Perry is a member of Black Artists for Freedom. She lives outside Philadelphia with her two sons.

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