Join us once, join us often – whether you’ve read the book or
watched the show! If it’s a topic you’re interested in, you’re welcome
to join in.
Our discussion group began as a focused effort to educate ourselves on racism and privilege and has morphed into a group that discusses books (and sometimes movies or shows) about a wide range of social justice and environmental issues. The calendar below lists our upcoming titles. We generally 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
|January 25th||My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies By Resmaa Menakem s||Non-fiction||A NATIONAL BESTSELLER In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.|
|February 23rd||Colin In Black and White (Netflix Mini Series)||Netflix Drama||NARRATED BY COLIN KAEPERNICK, this drama series recounting his formative years navigating race, class and culture while aspiring for greatness.|
|March Date TBD||The Last White Man By Mohsin Hamid||Fiction||A NEW YORKER “ESSENTIAL READ”|
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER, VOGUE, AND NPR…a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change
One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land…. Hamid’s The Last White Man invites us to envision a future – our future – that dares to reimagine who we think we are, and how we might yet be together.
|April Date TBD||I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai||Non-fiction, Memoir||A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.|
|May Date TBD||There, There: A Novel By Tommy Orange||Novel||PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST NATIONAL BESTSELLER A wondrous and shattering award-winning novel that follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. A contemporary classic, this “astonishing literary debut” (Margaret Atwood, bestselling author of The Handmaid’s Tale) “places Native American voices front and center before readers’ eyes” (NPR/Fresh Air).|
|June Date TBD||The World Record Book of Racist Stories By Amber Ruffin, Lacey Lamar||Dark Humor||FROM A BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND COMEDIAN… A new collection of hilarious, intergenerational anecdotes full of absurd detail about everyday experiences of racism from the New York Times bestselling authors of You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, comedian Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey.|
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies Paperback – September 19, 2017
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER
“My Grandmother’s Hands will change the direction of the movement for racial justice.”— Robin DiAngelo, New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility
In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.
The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. Menakem argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn’t just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.
My Grandmother’s Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not only about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.
- Paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system.
- Offers a step-by-step healing process based on the latest neuroscience and somatic healing methods, in addition to incisive social commentary.
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, is a leading voice in today’s conversation on racialized trauma and the creator of Cultural Somatics, which utilizes the body and its natural resilience as mechanisms for growth. As a therapist and the founder of Justice Leadership Solutions, a leadership consulting firm, Resmaa dedicates his expertise to coaching leaders through civil unrest, organizational change, and community building
Previous Titles 2022
Wed., Nov. 30, 2022 7:00 pm
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery across America by Clint Smith
Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.
October 26th – Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America by Ryan Busse
former firearms executive pulls back the curtain on America’s multibillion-dollar gun industry, exposing how it fostered extremism and racism, radicalizing the nation and bringing cultural division to a boiling point.
As an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and conservationist–all things that the firearms industry was built on–Ryan Busse chased a childhood dream and built a successful career selling millions of firearms for one of America’s most popular gun companies.
But blinded by the promise of massive profits, the gun industry abandoned its self-imposed decency in favor of hardline conservatism and McCarthyesque internal policing, sowing irreparable division in our politics and society. That drove Busse to do something few other gun executives have done: he’s ending his 30-year career in the industry to show us how and why we got here.
Gunfight is an insider’s call-out of a wild, secretive, and critically important industry. It shows us how America’s gun industry shifted from prioritizing safety and ethics to one that is addicted to fear, conspiracy, intolerance, and secrecy. It recounts Busse’s personal transformation and shows how authoritarianism spreads in the guise of freedom, how voicing one’s conscience becomes an act of treason in a culture that demands sameness and loyalty. Gunfight offers a valuable perspective as the nation struggles to choose between armed violence or healing.
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.
September 28th –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.