"A gifted storyteller, the author writes with the urgency of what's at stake--i.e., the very survival of our democracy....Required reading for any American serious about dismantling systemic racism...." 

Calvin Baker is the author of four novels, including Grace and Dominion which was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Award. He teaches in Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts, and has also taught in the English Department at Yale University, the University of Leipzig, where he held the Picador Chair in American Studies, Long Island University, Graduate Department of English where he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor, Bard College, and Middlebury College. Exclusively represented by BrightSight Speakers bureau, Calvin's nonfiction work has appeared in Harper's and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn. 

Speech topics

Reimagining Racial Equity for the 21st Century

The deep roots of America’s race problem are apparent to all, as is the partial progress we have made from this country’s founding. Drawing on twenty years of research this talk cuts through the obvious problems to introduce solutions that have worked in the past, and how they might be applied to the present moment.

Harnessing the Power of Storytelling to Transform Culture

Over the past fifty years story-telling has become ubiquitous in entertainment, business, and across the traditional arts and sciences. We tell the stories of our lives, our brands, our dreams, and our journeys. Its power to forge connections is obvious. Less understood are the larger cultural narratives that contain all others. This talk will explore the hidden vessel of narratives, and the ways we can harness it to transform cultures large and small.


A More Perfect Reunion: Race, Integration, and the Future of America

A provocative case for integration as the single most radical, discomfiting idea in America, yet the only enduring solution to the racism that threatens our democracy.


The novel's sweeping tale encompasses four continents--where prior assumptions are constantly tested, and men who cling too passionately to certainty unleash destruction...

Once Two Heroes

A black former Frenchman and an older Mississippi family man serve together in World War II only to confront the painful post-war realities of American racism, which they experience in the wake of a murder, a police chase, and a desperate bid for freedom. 


With Calvin Baker's first two novels, Naming The New World and Once Two Heroes, he has continued to be acclaimed by the major media from the Los Angeles Times to Esquire. Now, with Dominion, Baker has written a lush, incantatory novel about three generations of an African American family in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Naming the New World

A multigenerational tale forms a portrait of a people's passage to a new world, following the voices, as one flows into the next, of six African Americans, beginning with Ampofo, who is brought as slave cargo to America. A first novel.

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