A new book demonstrates the complexity of our stories

detroit today

From an early age, we are categorized. We become known as Arabs or Latinos, Jews or Muslims, blacks or indigenous. And these ideas don’t come out of nowhere — every once in a while, we literally tick boxes that tell the federal government who we are.

But there is a problem with this process in America. Many Americans – especially many African Americans – do not know their history because it was never properly recorded or intentionally destroyed.

A new book focuses on the intersectional identities that many African Americans possess and more broadly explores the dynamic stories that Americans often hold in general.

“I really don’t want us to give up on our vision of America – that America can be as beautifully complex as it wants to be.” – Caleb Gayle, author

Listen: The story of Black Creeks and how it is representative of America.


Caleb Gayle is the author of “We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power”. He says it’s good to dive deeper into our own stories because it can bring out complicated aspects of American history and what the country is really like today.

“I really don’t want us to let go of our vision of America – that America can be as beautifully complex as it wants to be, but that will require us to cling to those stories that have been told to us,” Gayle said. “Even sometimes the ones that seem so wacky, like I thought they were when I first moved to Oklahoma.”

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Sharon D. Cole