"Black American Refugee" by Tiffanie Drayton
In the summer of 2020, as America underwent a reckoning with racism that was centuries in the making, Tiffanie Drayton wrote a provocative, personal, and widely shared New York Times essay called “I’m A Black American. I Had to Get Out.” In it, she reflects on her choice to leave the U.S. to return to her home island of Tobago, right before the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd—and how she felt grieving and raging for Black Americans from across an ocean.
Now, in her powerful new memoir, "Black American Refugee: Escaping the Narcissism of the American Dream" (Viking), Drayton is telling her story – that of a woman coming to terms with how systemic racism has poisoned America, and ultimately deciding she has to leave the “land of the free” to be truly emancipated.
Originally aired in February 2022.