Author and Activist
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Blair Imani, a critically-acclaimed historian, outspoken advocate and activist, and dynamic public speaker, has been a champion for many intersectional communities throughout her time in the public eye. She’s published two historical books: Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020), which focus on women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community.
When speaking about her book, Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream, she explains the damage the American education system has on the Black experience. “In history class in the US in particular, we essentially learn that there’s slavery, Black people disappear from the story until the ‘60s and ‘70s when they come back with afros and anger, then Martin Luther King solved racism, the end. And that’s just not true, it’s not a full picture. So many young people are led to believe that the oppressed conditions that Black people endure today is the result in our failure to participate in the American Dream instead of understanding that we’ve been denied access to it.”
"So many young people are led to believe that the oppressed conditions that Black people endure today is the result in our failure to participate in the American Dream instead of understanding that we’ve been denied access to it.”
This central theme has also led Blair to start and co-host a podcast, America Did What?!, which comes out this July 4th, 2020. “A podcast is a great format for topics like this. I don't have the capacity to write an article or book any time there’s something interesting to say, and with America’s track record, we will literally never run out of material. Kate, my co-host, and I both come from the school of thought that just because it’s important knowledge, it doesn’t have to be plain so it's full of fun reenactments and different things that really humanize it.”
Blair strives to bring humanity to all aspects of her work, starting with sharing her experiences with children. “I really love working with kids because that’s what changes things. As adults, we’re learning that there’s so much stuff to unlearn. What if we just taught kids about it from the start? It really rejuvenates me when I’m able to teach younger folks because I felt so lonely for such a long time so it feels good to be accessible to them.”
Today, Blair is researching for her next book and is excited to be at a new inflection point in her career. In the past month alone, she’s welcomed a wider audience to her platform, garnering over 140k new followers. With this new reach, she’s reformulating the way she approaches her work. “I’m at a crossroads — basically, what has happened is that a lot of us have been saying things for a long time that make a lot of sense and now people are just deciding to listen. I’m not changing my work, but I’m definitely scaling it in a different way and making sure that I can keep true to myself and my mission but also adapt to this newer audience. Now that people are listening I can spend less energy trying to get them to listen and really focus on the work, which is an exciting place to be.”
"Now that people are listening I can spend less energy trying to get them to listen and really focus on the work, which is an exciting place to be.”