…at the conclusion of my talk, I was introduced to another question that still haunts me. I had handled most of the closing Q&A questions. Then one student hit me with this:
“Mr. Smiley, do you believe that given the crisis state of our democracy, we black folk could ever find ourselves enslaved again?”
Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming. Neither did the mostly white audience. A quiet fell over the room. I swallowed hard.
Looking directly at the student, I could see he was dead serious, and I wanted to treat his question with the soberness it deserved. But, truthfully, I stumbled as I began to respond, not knowing how to properly frame my response.