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Common Read 2020-21
This guide is for the Common Read committee to share potential readings for the upcoming year.
Please send potential books, articles, videos to Yvonne Rode to add to this guide.
*The Drimmer Library is currently closed. Please check your if your local library is currently lending (or if it offers an ebook service such as Overdrive).
Citizen by * Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry * * Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism * Winner of the NAACP Image Award * Winner of the L.A. Times Book Prize * Winner of the PEN Open Book Award * ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker,Boston Globe,The Atlantic,BuzzFeed, NPR.Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly,Slate,Time Out New York,Vulture,Refinery 29, and many more . . . A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking bookDon't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry,Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
Call Number: New Book Collection, 1st Floor PS3568.A572 A6 2014
Publication Date: 2014
Full Dissidence by Whether the issues are protest, labor, patriotism, or class division, it is clear that sports are no longer simply fun and games. Rather, they are a hotbed of fractures that define their respective industries and provide allegories for society at large. It is this spirit of sports and societal intersectionality that informs the nine essays--all original--in Full Dissidence. In three parts--Protest, Belonging, and Corruption---Bryant writes about what Colin Kaepernick exposed in our culture, the militarization of sports, police propaganda, the corporate assault on civil liberties, the collisions of race and identity, and the kleptocracy that has forced America to ask itself if its beliefs of freedom and democracy are more than just words. We see it in sports, through the player-owner relationship, and we see it more broadly in our national government. Famous, millionaire black athletes, for example, seem powerful. But how powerful are they really when they are not allowed to speak? And when they lose their careers if they do? Additionally, Bryant unpacks how being torn away from the roots of the Black community in order to achieve the myth of "more" or "better" is deeply consequential, especially today. In a time when authoritarianism is creeping into our lives and is being embraced in our politics, advocating for black and brown communities is riskier. Powerful, popular people of color may think they can navigate this terrain with their money and their fame. They cannot. That's never been more clear than now. Perched firmly at the intersection of sports, politics and pop culture, Full Dissidencespeaks to the continued influence of sports in the mainstream in a way that is at once brilliant and arresting.
Publication Date: 2020
Stamped from the Beginning by From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist, the National Book Award-winning masterwork revealing how racist ideas were created, spread, and became deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America--it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope. Praise for Stamped from the Beginning: "We often describe a wonderful book as 'mind-blowing' or 'life-changing' but I've found this rarely to actually be the case. I found both descriptions accurate for Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning... I will never look at racial discrimination again after reading this marvellous, ambitious, and clear-sighted book." - George Saunders, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017 "Ambitious, well-researched and worth the time of anyone who wants to understand racism." --Seattle Times "A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society." --The Atlantic Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller On President Obama's Black History Month Recommended Reading List Finalist for the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Chicago Review of Books, The Root, Buzzfeed, Bustle, and Entropy
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.61 .K358 2016
Publication Date: 2016
How to Be an Antiracist by #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a "groundbreaking" (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society--and in ourselves. "The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind."--The New York Times NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * Time * NPR * The Washington Post * Shelf Awareness * Library Journal * Publishers Weekly * Kirkus Reviews Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. Praise for How to Be an Antiracist "Ibram X. Kendi's new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn't come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author's own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, 'the basic struggle we're all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.' "--NPR "Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is--and what we should do about it."--Time
Call Number: Popular Collection, 1st Floor E184.A1 K344 2019
Publication Date: 2019
Across That Bridge by Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work/Biography. In Across That Bridge, Congressman John Lewis draws from his experience as a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless wisdom, poignant recollections, and powerful principles for anyone interested in challenging injustices and inspiring real change toward a freer, more peaceful society. The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis, a close confidant to Martin Luther King, Jr., have never been more relevant. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the discipline and philosophy of nonviolence. Now, in an era in which the protest culture he helped forge has resurfaced as a force for change, Lewis' insights have never been more relevant. In this heartfelt book, Lewis explores the contributions that each generation must make to achieve change.
Publication Date: 2012
Me and White Supremacy by When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would become a cultural movement. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it...Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 95,000 people downloaded the supporting work The Me and White Supremacy Workbook.Updated and expanded from the original edition, Me and White Supremacyteaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
Publication Date: 2020
The Color of Law by In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. "The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book" (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein's invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.61 .R8185 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Between the World and Me by #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE * PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race" (Rolling Stone) NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN * NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * O: The Oprah Magazine * The Washington Post * People * Entertainment Weekly * Vogue * Los Angeles Times * San Francisco Chronicle * Chicago Tribune * New York * Newsday * Library Journal * Publishers Weekly In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Call Number: Circulating Collection E185.615 .C6335 2015
Publication Date: 2015
We Were Eight Years in Power by In this "urgently relevant"* collection featuring the landmark essay "The Case for Reparations," the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me "reflects on race, Barack Obama's presidency and its jarring aftermath"*--including the election of Donald Trump. New York Times Bestseller * Finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times * USA Today * Time * Los Angeles Times * San Francisco Chronicle * Essence * O: The Oprah Magazine * The Week * Kirkus Reviews *Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president." But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period--and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective--the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president. We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates's iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including "Fear of a Black President," "The Case for Reparations," and "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration," along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates's own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.
Call Number: Circulating Collection E907 .C63 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Born a Crime by #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST MEMOIRS OF THE DECADE * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times * USA Today * San Francisco Chronicle * NPR * Esquire * Newsday * Booklist 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. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime "Compelling . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah's] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah's family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author's remarkable mother."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Call Number: Circulating Collection PN2287.N557 A3 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Howard Bryant interview with Dr. Erik Fortune - 12 Nov 2020
Join the Viking Community Today, November 12th at 4:30pm as we discuss The Election Effects and Politics of the Pandemic with Senior Writer for ESPN.com & ESPN The Magazine, Howard “Howie” Bryant. Bryant is also the author of nine books with his most recent publication of Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field.
For faculty, this event is aligned with the Social Justice Committee effort to have Courageous Conversations* all year long. Please consider using this event as an extra credit opportunity for students and of course a personal learning growth experience for yourself. As always, please remember, this program facilitates a space for learning, growth, and freedom of speech. This program is not intended to create feelings of discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any form of distress.