Diversity Book Club — Short & Long Lists for 2013-2014
The annual potluck and book selection meeting of the Diversity Book Club was last night. It was great fun to talk about good books over good food.
Here are the books we will be reading in the next year:
Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett, Jr
Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities by Craig Steven Wilder
Malindy’s Freedom: the Story of a Slave Family by Mildred Johnson and Theresa Delsoin
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum McCann
Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart
Substitute Me: A Novel by Lori L Tharps
Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America by Tanner Colby
Ain’t But a Place : An Anthology of African American Writings about St. Louis edited by Gerald Early
Here are the books we left on the table, but may want to consider again for a future year:
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
Unspeakable by Susan Burch and Hannah Joyner
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Black on White edited by David R Roediger
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
A Slave No More by David W. Blight
In Search of Our Mother’s Garden by Alice Walker
Homegirls and Handgrenades by Sonia Sanchez
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Part of the fun we had last night was matching up book titles with months. We’re reading Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America this fall in two meetings spread more than a month apart because it’s so comprehensive that we believe will have a lot to talk about. We’re reading Malindy’s Freedom in February for the African American Read-In and Black History month — we’re excited that it’s a Missouri story. Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is for March, Women’s History Month.
In case you missed it, I compiled the list of all the books (45 of them!) we’ve read since the summer of 2008: The Diversity Book Club Books. We mostly read books about race in America so that’s a great resource for anyone who wants to educate themselves or if you’re looking for a thoughtful way to observe Black History Month or any of the upcoming 50th anniversary observances of the Civil Rights era.
It’s going to be a great year!
Some interesting books! I read Transatlantic this year.
Great post and suggestions! I really like a book that focuses on diversity and I think I’ll be looking in to this list. You should check out another great book called “The Children of Gavrilek” by Julie Kirtón Chandler. A friend recommended it to me and it’s a really fantastic read! Thanks again for the post and book list!
Sorry, I also wanted to add the author’s website, http://www.juliekirtonchandler.com. You’ll be able to find the book and more info on it there!
What a great idea for a book club! I’m really thrilled that it exists 🙂 Did you choose to focus on the African-American theme for 2014? So many great selections!
Because of the history of our group and the make up of our community, we’ve always had an African-American theme. But I think we’re ready to branch out some. I was in a different group focused on diversity that brought in other aspects and cultures. That was helpful partly because it broadened our concept of diversity but also because it allowed us to talk about race issues in similar ways but without always putting our black members under a microscope (which appeared to be a bit of a relief).
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I just stumbled upon your website and saw that your book club will be reading my novel, Substitute Me this year! What a thrill. I just wanted to say thank you and I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks! I’m looking forward to it.
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