Author Talk: We Refuse to Forget
Inspired by his landmark debut book We Refuse to Forget, award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle shares powerful insights about the impact of history on race and identity today. An in-demand speaker, Gayle shares this eye-opening account of untold American history, delving into our shared understanding of identity, race, and belonging.
The Impact on History of Race and Identity
Caleb Gayle leads an exploration and reconsideration of how different types of education styles have reformed how we've lived. He delves into different types of education structures as a whole and their effects on society.
Award-winning writer Caleb Gayle inspired a healthcare audience with his engaging and charismatic conversation
Journalist, historian, and author CALEB GAYLE made a meaningful impact with his insights for a recent event with Athena Health. As a featured panelist for their Black History Month conversation, Gayle focused on the subject of his compelling debut book, We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power. With his gift for making profound connections, Gayle brought depth to the conversation about equity in healthcare, the impact of the past on our present systems, and how we can all contribute to a more equitable future through innovation and connection.
Gayle received stellar feedback from the host, who raved: “The panel was a SUCCESS! Athenistas walked away wanting to be part of the solution and ways we can develop our products to not perpetuate racial and health care disparities. Caleb was so engaging and charismatic it felt like you were in the room with him!”
Award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle’s book 'We Refuse to Forget' is a vital work of untold history
With his highly-anticipated debut book, award-winning journalist CALEB GAYLE has crafted a landmark work of untold American history in We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power. Illuminating the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that both enslaved people and accepted Black people as full citizens, Gayle has written what bestselling author David Treuer has called “a gripping history… a vital work.” The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the prestigious Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, Gayle delves into the history and interviews Black Creeks who are fighting to have their citizenship reinstated, laying bare the racism and greed at the heart of this story. As leading anti-racist scholar and bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi describes, “when Caleb Gayle wrote this book, he reached back into history to find power.”
Gayle, whose writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Harvard Review, among many others, reshapes our understanding of identity, race, and belonging, as both a writer and an impactful keynote speaker. With his trademark depth and sincerity, Gayle’s sought-after insights challenge preconceptions and resonate beyond the moment. Award-winning author Kiese Laymon writes of Gayle’s gifts: “We Refuse to Forget reminds readers, on damn near every page, that we are collectively experiencing a brilliance we’ve seldom seen or imagined… a new standard in book-making.”
Caleb J. Gayle writes about the impact of history on race and identity. His writing has been recognized by the Best American Essays anthology, the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, the PEN American Writing for Justice Fellowship, the Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellowship, the New America Fellowship, among others. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Oklahoma as a Truman Scholar, and Oxford as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Gayle worked for a social enterprise that creates customized programs to empower women entrepreneurs from marginalized areas in Mexico and as program officer at the George Kaiser Family Foundation. A former consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Gayle completed both his MBA and master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Business School and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans. A former US News Fellow at The Guardian, he has also been named as a New America Fellow and a Demos Emerging Voices Fellow. Gayle's writing has been featured or forthcoming in The New York Times, The Guardian, the Three Penny Review, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, the Harvard Review, Pacific Standard, the New Republic, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Root, the Daily Beast, and more. Gayle's debut book We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power became a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Hurston Wright Foundation Legacy Award for Historical Nonfiction, and is a landmark work of un(der)told history sure to reshape our understanding of identity, race, and belonging.
In addition to writing, Gayle serves as a Lecturer at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and a Visiting Scholar at the Arthur Carter Journalism Institute at NYU. Caleb is a Fellow at the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and a Visiting Scholar at the Arthur Carter Journalism Institute at NYU. He is also a Visiting Professor for Nonfiction at Columbia University's School of Arts. A first generation American, Gayle comes from a family originally from Jamaica, though born in New York and raised in Oklahoma. In his writing and at speaking engagements, he draws on his personal history and the immigrant experience and historical context to explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity.