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 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 is an author of the forthcoming book, We Refuse to Forget, from Riverhead Books, which offers a narrative account of how many Black Native Americans were divided and marginalized by white supremacy in America.
In addition to writing, Gayle serves as a Venture Partner at Atento Capital, 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. 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.