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From Ben Jealous, a new memoir about family, race, national unity

Ben-Jealous_photo credit Christopher Jason Studios_Cover-COMBO2.png
Ben Todd Jealous, former president of the NAACP and the 2018 Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, is one of the nation's leading civil rights activists. He's also an educator, business investor and author, and since November 2022, the executive director of the Sierra Club, one of the nation's oldest and most influential environmental organizations. (photo credit Christopher Jason Studios/cover art courtesy Harper Collins)

Tom's guest today is Ben Jealous. In 2008, at the age of 35, he was the youngest person ever chosen to lead the oldest civil rights organization in the United States, the NAACP. He’s a former journalist and executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. He’s a philanthropist and venture capitalist, and in 2018, he was the Maryland Democratic party’s nominee for governor (who lost the election to Republican Larry Hogan).

Recently, he served as president of People for the American Way, and earlier this month, he took the reins as executive director of the Sierra Club, one of the nation's oldest environmental organizations.

The son of a white father and Black mother, Jealous' new book is a memoir that makes the case that racism as we know it can be eliminated. It is replete with stories from a very full life, flecked with insights drawn from some of the people he has met along the way.

At the book’s heart is the wisdom Jealous received from his grandmother, who died at the age of 105. The book's title is taken from the advice he says his grandmother often urged on him. It's called, Never Forget Our People Were Always Free: A Parable of American Healing.

Ben Jealous joined Tom by Zoom earlier in February.

Because their conversation was recorded earlier, we aren’t able to take any calls or online comments.

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