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Reading for Change at the Fairfield County District Library
May 31, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A book discussion group where we look at issues of race, ethnicity, equality, and inclusion.
The Reading for Change Book Discussion Group will explore Race and Ethnicity Equity and Inclusion (REEI). Through group discussion, we will expand our knowledge of systemic racism and intersectional social justice issues, examine how we uphold these systems of inequity, and identify steps we can take to combat inequities. We hope to provide an inclusive space to explore meaningful change.
This book group will spend two or three months discussing one title so that we have time to unpack the topics in the book and look for ways we can impact change in our community. This book group will meet the last Wednesday of the month at 1:00.
May Book: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood [Curtis] is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.” In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear “out back.” Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. [Martin Luther] King’s ringing assertion “Throw us in jail and we will still love you.” His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.