Episode for July 10, 2022
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Maura Quint is a humor writer and activist whose work has been featured in publications such as McSweeneys and The New Yorker. She was named one of Rolling Stone’s top 25 funniest twitter accounts of 2016. When not writing comedy, Maura has worked extensively with non-profits in diverse sectors including political action campaigns, international arts collectives and health and human services organizations. She has never been officially paid to protest but did once find fifteen cents on the ground at an immigrants’ rights rally and wanted to make sure that had been disclosed. She was the co founder and executive director of TaxMarch.org
Baynard Woods thought he had escaped the backwards ways of the South Carolina he grew up in, a world defined by country music, NASCAR, and the confederacy. He’d fled the South long ago, transforming himself into a politically left-leaning writer and educator.
Then he was accused of discriminating against a Black student at a local university. How could I be racist? he wondered. Whiteness was a problem, but it wasn’t really his problem. He taught at a majority Black school and wrote essays about education and Civil Rights.
But it was his problem. Working as a reporter, it became clear that white supremacy was tearing the country apart. When a white kid from his hometown massacred nine Black people in Charleston, Woods began to delve into his family’s history—and the ways that history has affected his own life.
When he discovered that his family—both the Baynards and the Woodses—collectively claimed ownership of more than 700 people in 1860, Woods realized his own name was a confederate monument. Along with his name, he had inherited privilege, wealth, and all the lies that his ancestors passed down through the generations.
In this gripping and perceptive memoir, Woods takes us along on his journey to understand how race has impacted his life. Unflinching and uninhibited, Inheritance explores what it means to reckon with whiteness in America today and what it might mean to begin to repair the past.