Virtual Event: Charles M. Blow in conversation with Bakari Sellers

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 6:00pm

Square Books and HarperCollins are pleased to present a virtual conversation between Charles Blow and Bakari Sellers about Blow's new book The Devil You Know on Crowdcast at 6:00 pm CST. You must register to attend this ticketed event by emailing

*This is a ticketed event. Admission is available for $5 the event OR with the purchase of the book, which comes with a signed bookplate, available for pick up, local delivery, or shipping. This virtual event is hosted by HarperCollins via Crowdcast. An entry link will be emailed to ticket holders on the day of the event.*

Click here to purchase an event ticket.

Click here to purchase a signed book plate edition.


THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: A Black Power Manifesto

Race, as we have come to understand it, is a fiction; but, racism, as we have come to live it, is a fact. The point here is not to impose a new racial hierarchy, but to remove an existing one. After centuries of waiting for white majorities to overturn white supremacy, it seems to me that it has fallen to Black people to do it themselves. —Charles Blow

Acclaimed columnist and author Charles Blow never wanted to write a “race book.” But as violence against Black people—both physical and psychological—seemed only to increase in recent years, culminating in the historic pandemic and protests of the summer of 2020, he felt compelled to write a new story for Black Americans. He envisioned a succinct, counterintuitive, and impassioned corrective to the myths that have for too long governed our thinking about race and geography in America. Drawing on both political observations and personal experience as a Black son of the South, Charles set out to offer a call to action by which Black people can finally achieve equality, on their own terms.

So what will it take to make lasting change when small steps have so frequently failed? It’s going to take an unprecedented shift in power. The Devil You Know is a groundbreaking manifesto, proposing nothing short of the most audacious power play by Black people in the history of this country.

About the Author:

Charles M. Blow is an acclaimed journalist and op-ed columnist for the New York Times who appears frequently on CNN. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which has been adapted into an opera by Terence Blanchard that will open the 2021–22 season of the Metropolitan Opera. This will be a historic occasion—the first time an opera by a Black composer appears on the Met stage. He graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications. He lives in Atlanta and has three children.

About the Host:

Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just twenty-two years old, he defeated a twenty-six-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic Nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the state of South Carolina. Sellers is a CNN political analyst and served in the South Carolina state legislature. Recently named to Time's ""40 Under 40"" list, he is also a practicing attorney who fights to give a voice to the voiceless. He is also the author of the memoir, My Vanishing Country.

Praise For The Devil You Know

“In his provocative manifesto Charles Blow gives us one of the most thrilling experiences as readers: the challenge of imagining an alternate future. Writing in a long tradition of Black visionaries who’ve wrestled with the political implications of place and power, he exhorts African Americans to reconsider the possibilities of home against an historical backdrop of past migrations. Blow is one of our most penetrating thinkers and brilliant essayists, and in The Devil You Know he is putting it all on the line.”
   — Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

Praise for Fire Shut Up in My Bones

“This is a story that builds and overwhelms; it's filled with a gathering roar, like an oncoming hurricane [until] the tension explodes...and drops into a quiet sea of inner peace...The conflicts central to humanity are reconfigured here as fields of simple possibility: of compromise, of forgiveness, of eternal incompletion, of the fire unleashed at long last from our bones.”The New York Times Book Review

“Stunning...Blow's words grab hold of you like a fever that shakes you up at first but eventually leads you to a place of healing.”Essence

“Honest and artful...Fire Shut Up in My Bones is an honest reflection of a life. Blow has taken the time to describe—often in loving detail—what people and places look like, giving the reader's visual imagination plenty to work with as he contemplates crucial life questions that this story so eloquently articulates.”Chicago Tribune

“[An] Exquisite memoir...Delicately wrought and arresting in its language, this slender volume covers a great deal of emotional terrain—much of it fraught, most of it arduous and all of it worth the trip.”The New York Times

“The most compelling read of the fall and the kind of book that will inspire you to turn off the TV and curl up in front of the fire instead.”BET

“Searing...A raw, intense and often powerful book.”Salon

“Fire Shut In My Bones is a piece of modern literary art...eye opening and profoundly moving.”Southern Literary Review

“Some truths cannot be taught, only learned through stories - profoundly personal and startlingly honest accounts that open not only our eyes but also our hearts to painful and complicated social realities. Charles Blow's memoir tells these kinds of truths. No one who reads this book will be able to forget it. It lays bare in so many ways what is beautiful, cruel, hopeful and despairing about race, gender, class and sexuality in the American South and our nation as a whole. This book is more than a personal triumph; it is a true gift to us all.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Event address: 

The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062914668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - January 26th, 2021

My Vanishing Country: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062917454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad - May 19th, 2020