Ever wonder what holds America together? Or for that matter, what it means to be an American?

Explore those questions through the lens of race, identity and justice in a special livestreamed event Thursday evening — the Matter of Fact Listening Tour.

Guests such as government and politics professor Lilliana Mason each explain their American Identity. For Mason, it’s a complex question as her ancestors came over on the Mayflower and many were in the Confederacy.

“There’s this family history that I’m not entirely proud of, but it’s so extremely American. And sort of slowly learning about the truth of American history has been a real journey for me. And my eyes are more open than now than they have been ever before in my life,” she said.

Join us Thursday evening for the Matter of Fact Listening Tour, “To Be An American: Identity, Race and Justice,” hosted by Soledad O’Brien.

The special program will stream beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on matteroffact.tv and other Hearst websites.

This presentation of the Listening Tour features a diverse lineup of guests from academia, literature and entertainment. They will share personal stories, essays and insights to bring greater understanding to the complex topic of race, identity and belonging. Matter of Fact contributors Jessica Gomez and Joie Chen will provide reports and interviews from around the country, while veteran journalist Ray Suarez will chronicle the history of Chinese Americans who helped build U.S. railroads but were denied citizenship. Viewers will be challenged to address questions such as, “What unites the United States, and what is it that truly makes America exceptional?” The program will open with a citizenship pop quiz, which encourages viewers to think about what those not born in this country must learn in order to become Americans.

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