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National Book Award winner Imani Perry on connecting America’s past and present

Imani Perry joins Washington Post Live on Tuesday, Nov. 29. (Video: The Washington Post)

Imani Perry is the author of “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation,” which recently won the National Book Award for nonfiction. On Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Perry joins The Post’s Robert Samuels for a conversation about what she learned writing the book about America’s past and present.

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"There's a fundamental tension between the starry-eyed dreaming and the cruelty that was at the inception point [of America.] I want to get at that as an origin point to understand why we are the way we are and what ways we might aspire to be different."- Imani Perry (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I don't like the lionization of founding fathers... or a lionized patriotism. Love of country requires, I think, brutal honesty."- Imani Perry (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Americans are really addicted to innocence. For some reason we think being innocent is virtuous... I think that's a kind of adolescent relationship to history and observation about the world. We need to grow up and be transparent about who and what we are."- Imani Perry (Video: Washington Post Live)

Imani Perry

Author, “South to America”

Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University