Race and Inclusion

Racial Justice and Inclusiveness Committee

The Friends of Roslindale Branch Library have formed a Racial Justice and Inclusiveness Committee to plan educational events, discussions, and presentations related to race, ethnicity, religion, and culture.  We also created a special list of books related to these topics.

If you are interested in joining our committee, email info@friendsofroslindalelibrary.org.


Schedule of Events


thefirenexttimeRevisiting The Fire Next Time
Saturdays, April 7, 21 and 28
9:15 AM - 11 AM
Roslindale Library

We will host a three-part discussion series on James Baldwin's classic about race in America.  The Fire Next Time is a passionate exploration of race, religion and America’s destiny.  Baldwin beautifully describes his quest to transcend anger, conflict, and isolation to become a truthteller, and finally, a prophet. Join us as we discuss the book's legacy which continues to grow! 

April 7—Truthteller
April 21—Searcher
April 28—The Legacy of a Prophet

The discussions will be facilitated by local educator Josh Frank. The Friends purchased limited copies of the book which can be borrowed from the library on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up for the series at the circulation desk or call 617-323-2343.

The Fire Next Time
By James Baldwin

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhorts Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.

circle-312343_640Crossing Borders with Poetry: Celebrating Immigrant Poets
Thursday, April 26, 7-9pm
Roslindale House, 120 Poplar St

We are hosting a special Rozzie Reads Poetry open mic featuring immigrants poets from around the world. Attendees are also welcome to read poems from their favorite immigrant poets.

The featured readers are:

  • Barbara Siegel Carlson, poet and translator of Slovene poetry
  • Barbara Thomas, poet who writes about her Greek/Albanian heritage
  • U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo, Zimbabwean poet and singer
  • Sharon Amuguni, poet and artist born in Kenya

1984Revisiting 1984
Saturdays, May 5, 12 and 19
9:15 AM - 11 AM
Roslindale Library

Join us to discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, which was conceived during Nazi rule in World War II and published in 1948. Since its publication, analysts have debated this book’s predictive power as we live through a post-war technological revolution. Nineteen Eighty-Four once again became a bestseller just after Donald Trump took office last year. Now more than ever, Orwell’s vision of a totalitarian state where there are no facts, and therefore no freedom, demands our attention!

The discussions will be facilitated by local educator Josh Frank. The Friends purchased limited copies of the book which can be borrowed from the library soon on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up for the series at the circulation desk or call 617-323-2343.

By George Orwell

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever...

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching...

A startling and haunting vision of the world, 1984 is so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the influence of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

thehateugiveBook Discussion: The Hate U Give
Thursday, May 17, 6:30 PM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss the acclaimed first book by Angie Thomas.  The Friends purchased limited copies of the book, which will be available to borrow soon from the Roslindale library on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

GirlTrekTalk and Walk withGirlTrek
Saturday, June 16, 10 - 11:30 AM
Menino Community Center, 125 Brookway Rd, Roslindale

Learn how GirlTrek is creating a national movement to transform the health of black women and girls by walking. Hear from local GirlTrek leader, Nicole Chandler, on getting connected locally. After the talk, stay for a 45-minute walk around Roslindale to jumpstart your journey. Water will be provided and a raffle for GirlTrek souvenirs. Nicole Chandler has been involved with GirlTrek since 2015 and is one of the founding members of the Boston chapter. She has led walks and hikes in Dorchester, Roxbury, and the Blue Hills. She lives in Dorchester.  This event is co-sponsored by GirlTrek and Boston Centers for Youth and Families.  Learn more at girltrek.org