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Discussing African Influences on American Society with Pulitzer Prize Winner David Hackett Fischer

Recorded on 02/16/2023
Posted in TIE Podcast

TIE Podcast · Discussing African Influences on American Society with Pulitzer Prize Winner David Hackett Fischer
African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals book cover. Includes a portrait of Absalom Jones against a red background.

In this Toward Inclusive Excellence spring semester episode, we’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David Hackett Fischer to discuss his latest title, African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals. TIE editor-in-chief Alexia Hudson-Ward chats with David on the writing process of this monumental text, which demonstrates how African influences in early America created a new, distinct American culture. David walks through his extensive travel to regions in America and Africa, in addition to his rigorous archival research of narratives by enslaved people collected in the 18th and 19th centuries. Throughout the conversation, David underscores the importance of diversity in American culture, highlighting the need to celebrate our differences and listen to—and learn from—our forebearers. David and Alexia also explore key takeaways from the book, the unique qualities of early American regions, and the significance of including African-American abolitionist Absalom Jones on the book cover.

David Hackett Fischer headshot. David is sitting down in an armchair with a book in his hands. He's wearing a light blue shirt, red tie, and black suit jacket/blazer. His background is walls of books.
Photo by Mike Lovett

About the guest:

Dr. David Hackett Fischer is a University Professor and Warren Professor of History emeritus at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is the author of numerous books, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner Washington’s Crossing and Champlain’s Dream. In 2015, he received the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals is his latest title.

Episode theme music: Black is the Night by Jeris (c) copyright 2014 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. Ft: DJ Vadim (djvadim), NiGiD

Watch the full video recording of the interview here:

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