headshot of Rachel Swarns

Journalist. Author. Professor.

Author of the new release The 272

Author of the new
release The 272

About Rachel See latest Release


Now available for pre-order  |  Available in bookstores June 13th

The 272

The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church

“Through her prodigious research, expert storytelling, and deep empathy for the victims of slavery, Rachel L. Swarns has produced an absolutely essential addition to the history of the Catholic Church, whose involvement in New World slavery sustained the Church and, thereby, helped to entrench enslavement in American society.”
Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello and On Juneteenth
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In her books, Rachel explores the complexities of race, history and the American experience, tracing the journeys of Michelle Obama’s multiracial ancestors and exploring the stories behind the photographs that languished for decades in The New York Times archives.

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Rachel, a longtime correspondent for The Times, now focuses on race and race relations as a contributing writer for the newspaper in articles that engage and inform…

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Rachel has appeared on National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, CNN and other outlets and speaks to groups and audiences around the country. For interviews or speaking engagements, please contact her team here.

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