Natasha Trethewey is a much honored American poet who has twice served as the nation's poet laureate and who received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007. Trethewey was born in Mississippi and grew up in the South, the daughter of an interracial marriage. Her father was a white Canadian emigrant, a poet and professor. Her mother was a black social worker from Mississippi. Much of her poetry explores the lives and challenges of being a black person in the South.
She has a new collection of poems just published called Monument which tells of American history, personal history, and the lives of people who are often overlooked by history and poets. It has received quite a bit of critical acclaim.
This is a poem from an earlier collection, published in 2014, but it also addresses American history and her personal history. The last line here about history that links us but "renders us other to each other" I find inestimably sad.