November 11, 2020

Hosted by Kif Augustine-Adams

Listen Together Materials


Christopher Scott’s website


Christopher Scott (Click to Expand)


Christopher Scott, a Dallas native, was wrongfully convicted of capital murder in 1997 after unintentionally showing up at a crime scene and being incorrectly profiled as the culprit. Imprisoned at age 27, Scott served 13 years in prison, separated from his girlfriend and unable to watch his two young sons grow up. While in prison, Scott heard many stories from other inmates who were also wrongfully convicted. He determined that if released, he would do whatever possible to help fix a system which had irreparably damaged his and countless other lives.


In 2009, two years after his exoneration, Scott started The House of Renewed Hope. This non-profit organization seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted prisoners. The House of Renewed Hope works on individual cases of wrongful conviction in addition to advocating for legislative changes in the criminal justice system, seeking reform and justice for Americans who have been wrongfully imprisoned. Along with Christopher Scott, two other wrongfully convicted exonerees, Johnnie Lindsey and Steven Phillips, serve as head investigators for the organization. The three men have served a combined sixty years in prison for crimes that they did not commit. Though they lack formal investigative training or access to DNA evidence, the men turn to their experience as wrongfully convicted prisoners and their passion for justice to deliver freedom to others in such situations.


In 2018, director Jamie Meltzer released True Conviction, an emotional documentary which tells the story of Scott, Lindsey, and Phillips and their unlikely detective agency. In addition to telling the story of The House of Renewed Hope, the documentary emphasizes the issues and challenges plaguing the American justice system. True Conviction was praised by critics and audiences alike who resonated with the heroic story of The House of Renewed Hope and with Scott’s declaration that “my whole mission is to free as many people as I can before I leave this world.”


Scott, still a Texas resident and now a grandfather, also started a men’s clothing business upon his exoneration, using the money given to him by the state to pursue his lifelong love for men’s fashion. While he can never regain the time spent in prison, critical years in his sons’ lives and for the development of a career, Scott has made it his life mission to make his life worth living and to save others from prison time for crimes that they did not commit. He has grown to be one of the nation’s most prominent faces of wrongful conviction, using his platform and experience to bring justice to the wrongfully accused.


Interviews (2020, interview with Scott and Phillips) (2019 interview about 10 years of freedom) (2019 short NBC interview) (2018 interview discussing the film and criminal justice) (2018, conversation between Christopher Scott and Alonzo Hardy, the man for whose crime he was wrongfully convicted) (2018, article about House of Renewed Hope) (2018, article about Scott’s story, mission, and the documentary) (2018, kut interview) (2018, Scott calls for better health care following co founder Johnnie Lindsey’s death from lung cancer) (2017, Scott’s story with an emphasis on Alonzo Hardy) (2017, Scott speaks on the cost to Texas of the wrongfully convicted) (2015 interview telling his story)




Videos (2013, Scott tells his story to WUNC) (2018, interview in which Scott talks about life in prison and wrongful conviction) (2017, Scott tells his story to the Texas Tribune)  (shows Scott with Lindsey and Phillips and then talking to Hardy) (clip from True Conviction)


Audio/Radio Interviews (2020, discusses racism in the justice system and interviews Scott) (2018 interview) (2018, interview with Scott and Meltzer about the documentary) (2018 interview with The New Abolitionists) (2018 interview about Scott’s path since exoneration) (2018 short interview discussing race and incarceration) (2015 podcast episode)


Articles about Scott  (2019 profile on Scott) (2014, describing Scott’s experience and announcing him to be Texan of the Year) (National Registry of Exonerations profile, 2012) (LA Times photostory following Scott going about his day-to-day activities and explaining his story in captions) (Human rights organization based in Dallas, essay on Scott’s story) (2013 article about Scott’s release and how he opened a clothing store)




Articles Written By Scott (2014, Scott writes about meeting Alonzo Hardy)


Scott, Chris. “I Confronted the Man Whose Crime Sent Me to Prison.” The Texas Observer, 20 Apr. 2019,



Information about True Conviction (2018 interview with Meltzer and Scott) (summary of the film written by Meltzer) (imdb profile) (Hollywood Reporter movie review)


Other Information (Scott’s twitter profile) (Scott’s LinkedIn profile)

October 14, 2020

Hosted by Ben Cook


Listen Together Readings



Claudia Rankine (Click to expand)


Listen Together October: Claudia Rankine


Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine earned her BA in English from Williams College and her MFA in poetry from Columbia University.

She is the author of several collections, including Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press, 2020); Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), which received the 2016 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Book Prize for Poetry, the 2015 Forward Prize for Poetry, and the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry; and Nothing in Nature is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 1995), which received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize.

Rankine has edited numerous anthologies, including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (Fence Books, 2015), American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), and American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language (Wesleyan University Press, 2002). Her plays include Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, commissioned by the Foundry Theatre and Existing Conditions, co-authored with Casey Llewellyn. She has also produced a number of videos in collaboration with John Lucas, including “Situation One.”

Of her book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric, an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and images, poet Robert Creeley said: “Claudia Rankine here manages an extraordinary melding of means to effect the most articulate and moving testament to the bleak times we live in I’ve yet seen. It’s master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

In 2013, Rankine was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Mark Doty has praised her selection, saying: “Claudia Rankine’s formally inventive poems investigate many kinds of boundaries: the unsettled territory between poetry and prose, between the word and the visual image, between what it’s like to be a subject and the ways we’re defined from outside by skin color, economics, and global corporate culture. This fearless poet extends American poetry in invigorating new directions.” In 2019, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts And Sciences.

Her honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and the National Endowments for the Arts. In 2005, Rankine was awarded the Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets. In 2016, Rankine was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and named a United States Artists Zell fellow in literature. In 2017, she founded the Racial Imaginary Institute, a “a moving collaboration with other collectives, spaces, artists, and organizations towards art exhibitions, readings, dialogues, lectures, performances, and screenings that engage the subject of race.” She is currently a Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.




Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Gray Wolf Press, 2014.

Rankine, Claudia. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. Gray Wolf Press, 2004.

Rankine, Claudia. Just Us: An American Conversation. Gray Wolf Press, 2020.

Rankine, Claudia. Nothing in Nature is Private. Cleveland St. U Poetry Center, 1994.

Rankine, Claudia. PLOT. Grove Press, 2001.

Rankine, Claudia. The End of the Alphabet. Grove Press, 1998.

Rankine, Claudia. The White Card. Gray Wolf Press, 2019.



The White Card

Provenance of Beauty


Claudia Rankine — How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together?

YouTube Videos:

Rankine has compiled a collection of ten videos called Situations. These videos are in response to life in the 21st century. They are found at . Only numbers five and seven are on YouTube.

Claudia Rankine Just Us: An American Conversation

The Making of “Citizen”: Claudia Rankine | Woodberry Poetry Room

Author Claudia Rankine answers your questions about ‘Citizen’

Using poetry to uncover the moments that lead to racism

Claudia Rankine reads from Citizen

Claudia Rankine’s poem ‘Stop and Frisk’

Claudia Rankine: How Art Teaches a Poet to See

Claudia Rankine: The Blaney Lecture, 2017

Claudia Rankine Interview: Black on White

The Fire This Time: Claudia Rankine on Whiteness as a Brand

Claudia Rankine: On Whiteness—ArtsEmerson—Boston—Friday, March 24, 2017

Examining the Nature of White Male Privilege | IN THE WORKS | THE SHED

History and the American Imagination: Claudia Rankine & Sarah Blake

Poet Claudia Rankine | 2016 MacArthur Fellow

Claudia Rankine on Citizen: An American Lyric – 2015 L.A. Times Festival of Books

Claudia Rankine: Poets Writing Prose

In Conversation Claudia Rankine and Alondra Nelson

Claudia Rankine: Indifference to Racism

Claudia Rankine — excerpt from “Citizen”

Claudia Rankine on William Kentridge – ‘Communicating Injustice’

Talk: Claudia Rankine with Will Rawls–zgSI

Claudia Rankine: An American Lyric

Who Is Claudia Rankine? | THE SHED

Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community, Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine: 2015 National Book Festival

Claudia Rankine, Conversation, 6 May 2015

Claudia Rankine reads from Citizen at 2014 NBA Finalists Reading

P&P Live! Claudia Rankine | JUST US with Sarah Blake

CITIZEN: An American Lyric. Live Reading.

Playwright Claudia Rankine discuss her new play The White Card

Claudia Rankine receives the Poets House Elizabeth Kray Award (“The Betty”).

Claudia Rankine at the Loft—Q & A

Fall 2015 Daring Minds Video Series: Poet Claudia Rankine

Q&A with Poet Claudia Rankine—Emerson College—Wed, April 29, 2015

Claudia Rankine: ‘Silence, segregation and inaction is no longer possible’ I FT

REAL TALK: Claudia Rankine Speaking about the Artwork from her book, Citizen: An American Lyric

Conversation with Poet Claudia Rankine

Williams College Museum of Art – Claudia Rankine Reading

Poetry, Justice, and Alienation


September 16, 2020

Hosted by Dean Gordon Smith



Listen Together Readings






Essays in The Atlantic


  • The Glenn Show: Glenn Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University, and John McWhorter is a frequent guest on Glenn Loury’s podcast (

Ibram X. Kendi: Bio & Works (Click to expand)


Ibram X. Kendi is one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Kendi is a contributor writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News correspondent. He is also the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Kendi is the author of THE BLACK CAMPUS MOVEMENT, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF RACIST IDEAS IN AMERICA, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. At 34 years old, Kendi was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. He grew up dreaming about playing in the NBA (National Basketball Association), and ironically he ended up joining the other NBA.

Kendi is also the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, an international bestseller that has been translated in several languages; STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU, co-authored with Jason Reynolds; and ANTIRACIST BABY, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST made several Best Books of 2019 lists and was described the New York Times as “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.”

Kendi has published fourteen academic essays in books and academic journals, including The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of African American Studies, and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture. He co-edits the Black Power Series at NYU Press with historian Ashley Farmer.

Kendi has published op-eds in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, London Review, Time, Salon, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Paris Review, Black Perspectives, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He commented on a series of international, national, and local media outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Al Jazeerah, PBS, BBC, Democracy Now, OWN, and Sirius XM. A sought after public speaker, Kendi has delivered hundreds of addresses over the years at colleges and universities, bookstores, festivals, conferences, libraries, churches, and other institutions in the United States and abroad.

Kendi strives to be a hardcore antiracist and softcore vegan. He enjoys joking it up with friends and family, partaking in African American culture, weight-lifting, reading provocative books, discussing the issues of the day with open-minded people, and hoping and pressing for the day the New York Knicks will win an NBA championship and for the day this nation and world will be ruled by the best of humanity.

In 2013, he changed his middle name from Henry to Xolani (meaning “Peace” in Zulu) and surname from Rogers to Kendi when he wed Dr. Sadiqa Kendi, a pediatric emergency physician from Albany, Georgia. They chose their new name together and unveiled “Kendi,” meaning “loved one” in Meru, to their family and friends at their wedding. Their wedding photos, including Sadiqa’s beautiful gold dress, were featured in Essence Magazine.

Kendi was born in 1982 to parents who came of age during the Black power movement in New York City. They were student activists and Christians inspired by Black liberation theology. While Kendi was in high school, his family moved from Jamaica, Queens, to Manassas, Virginia. He traveled further south and attended Florida A&M University, where he majored in journalism. He initially aspired for a career in sports journalism, freelancing for several Florida newspapers, and interning at USA Today Sports Weekly, as well as in the sports sections of the Mobile Register and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. By the end of his tenure at FAMU, he had become alienated from sports journalism and increasingly interested in engaging in racial justice work. He picked up a second major in African American Studies and graduated in 2004.

After working for a time as a journalist at The Virginian Pilot, Kendi pursued his graduate studies. At 27 years old, he earned his doctoral degree in African American Studies from Temple University in 2010. Kendi has taught at SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Albany, the University of Florida, and American University. In 2017, he became a full professor, the highest professorial rank, at 34 years old.

Kendi has been visiting professor at Brown University, a 2013 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, and postdoctoral fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. He has also resided at The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress as the American Historical Association’s 2010-2011 J. Franklin Jameson Fellow in American History. In the summer of 2011, he lived in Chicago as a short-term fellow in African American Studies through the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of other universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum, University of Chicago, Wayne State University, Emory University, Duke University, Princeton University, UCLA, Washington University, Wake Forest University, and the historical societies of Kentucky and Southern California. In 2019, The Root 100 listed him as the 15th most influential African American between the ages of 25 and 45 and the most influential college professor. Kendi was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019.

His next book, BE ANTIRACIST: A GUIDED JOURNAL FOR AWARENESS, REFLECTION, AND ACTION, is available for pre-order and will be published on October 6, 2020.

Kendi lives in Boston, Massachusetts.



Kendi, Ibram X. How to Be an Antiracist. One World, 2019.

Kendi, Ibram X. Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Bold Type Books, 2017.

Kendi, Ibram X. The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Kendi, Ibram X., and Ashley Lukashevsky. Antiracist Baby. Kokila, 2020.

Kendi, Ibram X., and Jason Reynolds. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Little, Brown and Company, 2020.

(There are also selected articles found at:

Youtube Videos:

(there are a ton, here are a few) (How to be Anti-Racist) (Ted talk, difference between not racist and antiracist) (Directs conversation about Charlottesville) (how to know what’s racist) (Systems of Our Shared Life Must Change) (Democracy Now) (How to be the Smartest in the Room) (MIT Conversation)


Articles Published in The Atlantic:





Article Published in Time:


John H. McWhorter: Bio & Works (Click to expand)


John H. McWhorter, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes and comments extensively on race, ethnicity and cultural issues for the Institute’s Center for Race and Ethnicity. He also writes a regular column in the New York Sun. McWhorter’s new book, Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America (Gotham Books) was released in early 2006 and has already generated widespread acclaim. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-Fiction and has appeared numerous national TV and radio shows, such as Meet the Press, John McLaughlin’s One on One, the O’Reilly Factor and NPR’s Fresh Air. McWhorter is also a well-known and widely published linguistics scholar.

John McWhorter is also the author of the New York Times Best seller Losing the Race (Harper Perennial), and an anthology of race writings, Authentically Black (Gotham Books). McWhorter’s work on race and cultural issues has appeared in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostThe National ReviewCity Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. McWhorter also does regular commentaries for All Things Considered.

In addition to his work for the Center for Race and Ethnicity, McWhorter is a noted linguist and the author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, on how the world’s languages arise, change, and mix, and Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music in America and Why We Should, Like, Care. He has also written a book on dialects and Black English, The Word on the Street, and three books on Creole languages. The Teaching Company released his 36-lecture audiovisual course The Story of Human Language in 2004. His latest academic book on linguistics is Defining Creole. The next, Language Interrupted: Signs of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars, will be published in 2007.

John McWhorter earned his PhD in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993 and became Associate Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley after teaching at Cornell University.



Books focused on Race Issues

McWhorter, John H. All about the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America. Gotham Books, 2008.

McWhorter, John H. Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority. Gotham Books, 2004.

McWhorter, John H. Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America. Perennial, 2001.

McWhorter, John H. Talking Back, Talking Black: Truths about America’s Lingua Franca. Bellevue Literary Press, 2018.

McWhorter, John H. Winning the Race: beyond the Crisis in Black America. Gotham Books, 2007.


Books focused on Linguistics

McWhorter, John H. Defining Creole. Oxford University Press, 2005.

McWhorter, John H. Doing Our Own Thing: the Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, like, Care. Arrow, 2005.

McWhorter, John H. Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity: Why Do Languages Undress? (Language Contact and Bilingualism). De Gruyter Mouton., 2012.

McWhorter, John H. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: the Untold History of English. Gotham Books, 2009.

McWhorter, John H. Spreading the Word: Language and Dialect in America. Heinemann, 2000.

McWhorter, John H. The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language. Oxford University Press, 2016.

McWhorter, John H. The Missing Spanish Creoles: Recovering the Birth of Plantation Contact Languages. University of California Press, 2000.

McWhorter, John H. Towards a New Model of Creole Genesis. Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers, 1997.

McWhorter, John H. What Language Is: (and What It Isn’t and What It Could Be). Gotham Books, 2012.

McWhorter, John H. Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of “Pure” Standard English. Basic Books, 2007.

McWhorter, John. A Grammer of Saramaccan Creole. Mouton De Gruyter, 2012.

McWhorter, John. Language A to Z. Teaching Company, 2013.

McWhorter, John. Language Change and Language Contact in Pidgins and Creoles. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2000.

McWhorter, John. Language Interrupted Signs of Non-Native Acquisition in Standard Language Grammars. Oxford University Press, 2007.

McWhorter, John. Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage. The Great Courses, 2012.

McWhorter, John. The Power Of Babel: a Natural History of Language. Cornerstone Digital, 2011.

McWhorter, John. The Story of Human Language Complete Set. Teaching Company, 2004.

McWhorter, John. Words on the Move: Why English Won’t – and Can’t – Sit Still (Like, Literally). St Martins Pr, 2017.



Youtube Videos: (Talking Back, Talking Black) (Losing the Race, talk at The Independent Institute) (America Has Never Been Less Racist, Reason TV) (Tension between police and black men) (Has Anti-Racism Become A New Religion?)


Articles Published in The Atlantic:








Articles Published in Time: