Caleb Gayle

Author of We Refuse to Forget

Author Talks

Tuesday, Jun 14 2022 @ 7pm

Bundle Tickets

–Not Yet Members: $30 (includes general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Members: $25 (includes discounted general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Insiders: $20 (includes free general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)

General Admission

-Not-Yet Members: $10
-Members: $5
-Insiders: $0

Woodruff Auditorium is located inside McElreath Hall. Doors and cash bar will open at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.


A landmark work of untold American history that reshapes our understanding of identity, race, and belonging

In We Refuse to Forget, award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that two centuries ago both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Thanks to the efforts of Creek leaders like Cow Tom, a Black Creek citizen who rose to become chief, the U.S. government recognized Creek citizenship in 1866 for its Black members. Yet this equality was shredded in the 1970s when tribal leaders revoked the citizenship of Black Creeks, even those who could trace their history back generations—even to Cow Tom himself.

Why did this happen? How was the U.S. government involved? And what are Cow Tom’s descendants and other Black Creeks doing to regain their citizenship? These are some of the questions that Gayle explores in this provocative examination of racial and ethnic identity. By delving into the history and interviewing Black Creeks who are fighting to have their citizenship reinstated, he lays bare the racism and greed at the heart of this story. We Refuse to Forget is an eye-opening account that challenges our preconceptions of identity as it shines new light on the long shadows of white supremacy and marginalization that continue to hamper progress for Black Americans.

About the Author

Caleb Gayle is an award-winning journalist who writes about race and identity. A professor at Northeastern University, he is a fellow at New America, PEN America, Harvard's Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies, and a visiting scholar at New York University. Gayle’s writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe AtlanticThe GuardianGuernica, and other publications. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Gayle is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, the University of Oxford, and has an MBA and a master’s in public policy, both from Harvard University. He lives in Boston.

Promotional language provided by publisher.

The Aiken Lecture Series is supported by the Lucy Rucker Aiken Foundation.



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