Book Club January 2018

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman

Vince Harding in the Foreword says, “[Jesus and the Disinherited] is the centerpiece of the Black prophet-mystic’s lifelong attempt to bring the harrowing beauty of the African-American experience into deep engagement with what he called ‘the religion of Jesus.’ Ultimately his goal was to offer this humanizing combination as the basis for an emancipatory way of being, moving toward a fundamentally unchained life that is available to all the women and men everywhere who hunger and thirst for righteousness, especially those ‘who stand with their backs against the wall.’”

Howard Thurman (1900-1981) was the first black dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University and cofounder of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, California, the first inter-racially copastored church in America.  At BU, Thurman was a mentor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who always carried with him Thurman’s book “Jesus and the Disinherited.”

Aug. 2017 Book – The Hate You Give

The next Whites for Racial Equity book club will meet on Aug 1 from 7-9 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church. We will discuss the book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

The book has garnered rave reviews:  #1 New York Times Bestseller! “Absolutely riveting!” —Jason Reynolds “This story is necessary. This story is important.” —Kirkus Reviews  “Heartbreakingly topical.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)”A marvel of verisimilitude.” —Booklist (starred review)

June 2017 Book – Whistling Vivaldi

Join us on Tuesday, June 6 from 7-9 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Carmel, for our monthly anti-racism book club. This month we’ll be discussing Claude M. Steele’s book Whistling Vivaldi. Steele, who has been called one of the few great social psychologists, offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these stereotype threats and reshaping American identities.

May 2017 Book – Notes from No Man’s Land

The next WRE book club will meet on Tuesday, May 2 from 7-9pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Carmel. We’ll be discussing Eula Biss’s book, Notes from No Man’s Land. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, this book is a frank and fascinating exploration of race and racial identity

As Biss moves across the country from New York to California to the Midwest, her essays move across time from biblical Babylon to the freedman’s schools of Reconstruction to a Jim Crow mining town to post-war white flight. She brings an eclectic education to the page, drawing variously on the Eagles, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Baldwin, Alexander Graham Bell, Joan Didion, religious pamphlets, and reality television shows.

These spare, sometimes lyric essays explore the legacy of race in America, artfully revealing in intimate detail how families, schools, and neighborhoods participate in preserving racial privilege. Faced with a disturbing past and an unsettling present, Biss still remains hopeful about the possibilities of American diversity, “not the sun-shininess of it, or the quota-making politics of it, but the real complexity of it.”

April 2017 Book – Go Tell it on the Mountain

In between these two showings, our book club will discuss James Baldwin’s “Go Tell it on the Mountain” at the Tuesday, April 4 meeting from 7 -9 pm. 

We will discuss James Baldwin’s book Go Tell It On the Mountain. First published in 1953, it is Baldwin’s first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves. This event is free and open to the public. We are looking for someone to lead this book club discussion. Please let JT know if you are interested and available.

March 2017 Book – The Bluest Eye

Join the Whites for Racial Equity anti-racism book club on Tuesday, March 7 from 7-9pm for a discussion of  Toni Morrison’s classic The Bluest Eye. The book club meets at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 490 Aguajito Rd in Carmel. The event is free and open to the public.

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways.

What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Tony Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.