Invitation to BIG Book Club
BIG Newsletter Subscribers, Website Readers and Friends,
We would like to invite you to join our Book Club starting this Fall season. We wish to create a safe, trustful and peaceful environment during our discussions of select book titles; primarily focusing on racial injustice towards Black Americans in the U.S., but remaining open to suggestions from you to include a book title outside of our recommendations (please see the list of books below). Therefore, we ask you to be ready and provide a short summary of why you wish to propose it to the group. Perhaps we could vote for one book title suggested by our participants and include it into our curriculum.
We propose that our first Zoom meeting focuses on getting to know each other in order to understand our common interests and how we all arrived at the idea of inclusiveness towards others. Sharing personal opinions, experiences, and perspectives is highly encouraged, given we remain respectful and open-minded towards each other. After we collectively select the final 3-4 titles, we will determine the time-frame for each book, while keeping in mind that some of us may be full-time workers. The final goal of this activity will be to draw conclusions of what we have learned, why it is important to us and our society, and how through our words and actions we plan to implement this knowledge into our lives.
We would like to encourage you to reply to this invite, if you have an interest to participate. We will then follow up with subsequent invitations to Zoom meetings on agreed upon dates. Please send your RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Our suggested book titles:
- “Passing” by Nella Larsen
A 1929 novel. Set primarily in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City in the 1920s, the story centers on the reunion of two childhood friends – Clare Kendry and Irene Redfield – and their increasing fascination with each other’s lives.
- “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
A 1937 novel. The epic tale of Janie Crawford, a girl of mixed black and white heritage, whose quest for identity takes her on a journey during which she learns what love is, experiences life’s joys and sorrows, and come home to herself in peace.
- “Uncle Tom’s Children” by Richard Wright
A 1939 collection of novellas. Set in the American Deep South, each of the powerful and devastating stories in Uncle Tom’s Children concerns an aspect of the lives of Black people in the post-slavery era, exploring their resistance to white racism and oppression.
- “Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement” by Barbara Ransby
A 2003 non-fiction book. This biography chronicles Baker’s long and rich political career as an organizer, an intellectual, and a teacher, from her early experiences in depression-era Harlem to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
- “Tears We Cannot Stop” by Michael Eric Dyson
A 2017 non-fiction book. A provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance have been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. While he also offers guidance for moral redemption.
- “Fortune: How race broke my family and the world and how to repair it all” by Lisa Sharon Harper
A 2022 non-fiction book. Fortune helps readers understand how America was built upon systems and structures that blessed some and cursed others. The book culminates with a powerful and compelling vision of truth telling, reparation, and forgiveness that leads to Beloved Community.