Every school year, the university holds a campus-wide reading initiative known as the common reader. This year’s article of literature was “Counting Descent” written by Clint Smith.
On Tuesday, Nov. 9 Smith was in attendance via Zoom in the LSC Orange Ballroom to speak upon his book and experiences.
Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received many fellowships. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. Smith’s book was the first poem book chosen to be read at this event since it first started.
The event was available to all Sam Houston students with there being a line full of Bearkats outside of the ballroom before the event began. Smith’s book was a number one New York Times bestseller regarding the effects and history of slavery and racism in America and his personal experience.
“There is nothing like meeting people and spending time with people, even virtually, who have been reading and engaging thinking about your own work,” Smith stated.
His books were handed out at the event along with free food vouchers to Chick-Fil-A and free t-shirts to the first 200 students in attendance.
Smith read a few of his most prized poems from his book, and what they have to offer people of color in the world today. He hopes that people will read his book and understand what it means for people of color to grow up in a different light.
Smith also hopes that the world can be changed by just understanding differences and being accepting of all people.
“Ultimately, the way that poetry wrestles with the audience’s questions is the goal of these speaking’s,” Smith said.