Syndicated columnist Jabari Asim, for eleven years an editor at The Washington Post (and also former editor in chief of Crisis magazine, the NAACP's flagship journal of politics, culture and ideas) speaks today about Black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. In his new book, We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival (St. Martins), he explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn't depend on a narrative steeped in oppression but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories. Jabari Asim is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts and the author of six books for adults, including The N Word, and nine books for children.