A Conversation with Bakari Sellers | My Vanishing Country

September 17th 2020 | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Please join us for a conversation with one of the youngest state representatives in South Carolina history, Bakari Sellers. Attend for free, or choose our $30 ticket option, which includes your signed copy of My Vanishing Country.

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What J. D. Vance did for Appalachia with Hillbilly Elergy, Sellers does for the rural South in My Vanishing Country, in this important book that illuminates the lives of America’s forgotten black working-class men and women.

“A strong voice for social justice emerges in an engaging memoir.” - Kirkus Reviews

Anchored in in Bakari Seller’s hometown of Denmark, South Carolina, Country illuminates the pride and pain that continues to fertilize the soil of one of the poorest states in the nation. He traces his father’s rise to become, friend of Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King, a civil rights hero, and member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to explore the plight of the South's dwindling rural, black working class—many of whom can trace their ancestry back for seven generations.

“Bakari lays out a blueprint for anyone thinking just because their life starts on a dirt road in the rural south, it must end on a dirt road in the rural south. If you want to know what a black man can achieve in this country with faith in a higher power and a strong family structure, then this is the memoir you need.” - Charlamagne Tha God, author of Black Privilege and Shook One

In his poetic personal history, we are awakened to the crisis affecting the other “Forgotten Men & Women,” who the media seldom acknowledges. For Sellers, these are his family members, neighbors, and friends. He humanizes the struggles that shape their lives: to gain access to healthcare as rural hospitals disappear; to make ends meet as the factories they have relied on shut down and move overseas; to hold on to precious traditions as their towns erode; to forge a path forward without succumbing to despair. 

“My Vanishing Country solidifies Bakari Sellers as a major voice for his generation. He has taken the torch from his father Cleveland Sellers and soared. His brutally honest look at the systemic racism that continues to hold back the black working class is revelatory. His ownership of being Black, Country, and Proud is refreshing.” - Angela Rye, CNN Commentator and CEO of IMACT Strategies

My Vanishing Country is also a love letter to fatherhood—to Sellers' father, his lodestar, whose life lessons have shaped him, and to his newborn twins, who he hopes will embrace the Sellers family name and honor its legacy.

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Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just twenty-two years old, he defeated a twenty-six-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the state of South Carolina. Sellers is a CNN political analyst and served in the South Carolina state legislature. 

Part memoir, part historical and cultural analysis, My Vanishing Country is an eye-opening journey through the South's past, present, and future.


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