No one plans to release their new book in the middle of a global pandemic. However, timing saw fit that Bakari Sellers’ New York Times best-selling book, My Vanishing Country would be released at this time. A child of the civil rights movement, My Vanishing Country was made for a time as this. Released on Malcolm X’s Birthday (May 19th), My Vanishing Country is a memoir, centered around Sellers’ life journey and seamlessly ties it in to historical moments that some of us may or may not have already known of.
Bakari Sellers’ is from Denmark, South Carolina a country town with two stop lights and a blinking light. Denmark, like many rural communities in the United States, have been forgotten. These forgotten communities have been left behind due to the lack of economic development, poorly funded schools and substandard housing. However, despite these circumstances communities like Denmark have always had so much to offer.
We recently had the unique opportunity to have a conversation to discuss My Vanishing County with Bakari Sellers, during our conversation we are able to discuss a variety of topics such as the Orangeburg Massacre. The Orangeburg Massacre which on February 8, 1968 and is of the most important days of Bakari’s life even though he was not born until nearly 16 years later. On February 6, 1968 approximately 200 students at South Carolina State College were attempting to desegregate a local all-white bowling alley. After students protest for several days, law enforcement lined up and fired into a group of unarmed students killing three young black men, Samuel Hammond Jr, Delano Middleton and Henry Smith – twenty-eight other students were shot and wounded. One of those wounded was Sellers’ own father Cleveland Sellers Jr, who was arrested and was the only person that served jail time for a riot, that never occurred.
This story sets the foundation for Bakari Sellers’ life and his journey for being a voice for the voiceless. Take a listen to our exclusive interview below, to also hear Bakari Sellers’ thoughts on HBCUs, COVID-19 and its impact on education, his political future and what he feels Democrats need to do to win in 2020.
Be sure to join the conversation and leave a comment below and pick up a copy of My Vanishing County.
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