Our Discussion Group is evolving. We hope you’ll join us. What began as a focused effort to educate ourselves on racism and privilege has morphed into a group that discusses books (and sometimes movies) about a wide range of social justice and environmental issues. The calendar below lists our upcoming titles. We meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month, virtually, in person or both, depending on the status of Covid circulation in the community. For more information email email@example.com.
APRIL 27th – Three Girls from Bronzeville by Dawn Turner Trice
Recommended by Joan Bludeau
Written by a former Chicago Tribune columnist and based on the true story of her life growing up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She talks about her experiences with racism & segregation in Chicago. Her story is about how three girls navigated these issues to find their paths. While she faced tragedy, her story is filled with hope despite adversity.
MAY 25th – Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Recommended by Nan Parson
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America
JUNE 22nd – See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur
Recommended by Barbara Murphy-Sanders and Trudy Ber
An urgent manifesto and a dramatic memoir of awakening, this is the story of revolutionary love. Finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
How do we love in a time of rage? How do we fix a broken world while not breaking ourselves? Valarie Kaur – renowned Sikh activist, filmmaker, and civil rights lawyer – describes revolutionary love as the call of our time, a radical, joyful practice that extends in three directions: to others, to our opponents, and to ourselves. It enjoins us to see no stranger but instead look at others and say: You are part of me I do not yet know. Starting from that place of wonder, the world begins to change: It is a practice that can transform a relationship, a community, a culture, even a nation.
Kaur takes listeners through her own riveting journey – as a brown girl growing up in California farmland finding her place in the world; as a young adult galvanized by the murders of Sikhs after 9/11; as a law student fighting injustices in American prisons and on Guantánamo Bay; as an activist working with communities recovering from xenophobic attacks; and as a woman trying to heal from her own experiences with police violence and sexual assault. Drawing from the wisdom of sages, scientists, and activists, Kaur reclaims love as an active, public, and revolutionary force that creates new possibilities for ourselves, our communities, and our world.
See No Stranger helps us imagine new ways of being with each other – and with ourselves – so that together we can begin to build the world we want to see.
JULY 27th – Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Recommended by Sue Fox McGovern
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award • Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist
“Noah’s childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa’s history that must never be forgotten.”—Esquire
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
AUGUST 24th –The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
Recommended by Cynthia Kater
A summer read from a genre that began emerging in the 1970s – Eco-Fiction.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
Winner of the William Dean Howells Medal
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Over One Year on the New York Times Bestseller List
A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post, Time, Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
The best novel ever written about trees, and really just one of the best novels, period.” ―Ann Patchett
The Overstory, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of―and paean to―the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours―vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
SEPTEMBER 28th – Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendal
Recommended by Cynthia Kater
New York Times best seller. “A brutally candid and unobstructed portrait of mainstream white feminism.” (Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist)
Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent White feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?
In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has crafted a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.