In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratificiat
ion of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a br
utally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploite
d to create the country s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a n
ation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked
up, and killed in our streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find
a way to live within it? And how can we all regardless of race honestly reckon
with our country s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden?