In his book AMERICAN HATE, community activist, civil rights lawyer, and law professor, Arjun Singh Sethi sought to bring a personal face to the spike in hate crimes from the time Donald Trump kicked off his Presidential campaign with a slur against Mexican immigrants. The book showcases 14 unfiltered, first-person narratives from people who were targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality. We worked with New Press and Sethi to ensure this book got the widest possible airing in the media and to create a book tour that brought the conversation to community settings around the country.
When it came time to write the pitch, we made sure to tie the book to the most recent bigoted rhetoric out of the White House and to the white supremacist marches that were happening around the same time. We also created a Q&A with Sethi to show producers what a potential interview could look like and to illustrate how well Sethi contextualizes these individuals’ stories in the current socio-political moment. While the book is harrowing, it is also hopeful, so we highlighted the survivors’ bravery and remarkable optimism even after experiencing the worst of Trump’s America.
Some of the campaign highlights:
NPR/WBUR On Point
This national NPR show had Sethi on to discuss the book and the recent march by white supremacists in Washington. This segment was a full hour, and brought in a lot of other media interest.
WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show
This widely respected public affairs show out of DC spoke with Sethi for an hour about his book, focusing on the story of Taylor Dumpson, an African-American woman who was elected class president at American University in DC, only to find nooses hanging around campus on her first day in office. The show’s website also published an excerpt was also posted to the show’s website.
An extended Q&A with Chauncey DeVega in Salon
This extended interview touched on all sorts of issues in the book, especially how the rhetoric and policies of Donald Trump personally affects people in marginalized communities.
The AMERICAN HATE book tour featured more than 20 stops around the country, including Politics & Prose, McNally Jackson, the Carter Presidential Library, Powell’s, and the Brooklyn Book Festival. At each bookstore event, we made sure there was a local community group or two that co-sponsored. That helped drive attendance and help spread the word through multiple organizations. The tour gave us ample opportunity to line up local radio spots and features highlighting the book.