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

 

globereportersRace in Boston: A Discussion with The Boston Globe Spotlight Team
Wednesday, March 7, 7 pm - 9 pm
Roslindale Community Center, 6 Cummins Highway

The Friends will welcome Adrian Walker and Liz Kowalczyk, reporters from the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, to discuss their most recent investigative series on race in Boston. We will discuss the difficulties of talking about Boston's racial history, how much the city has progressed, and what can be done at a neighborhood level to make progress in understanding and equity.

peoples history***Back By Popular Demand!***

A People's American History Lesson
Saturdays, February 3 - March 17, 9:15 AM - 11 AM

We are hosting a special, six-week series of book discussions about Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, a sweeping narrative of America's untold stories.  The Friends purchased limited copies of the book, which are available to borrow now from the Roslindale library on a first-come, first-served basis. A full syllabus will be available soon.

We will discuss chapters 1, 2 and 4 at our February 24 meeting.

A People's History of the United States
By Howard Zinn

Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.

Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

queensugarBook Discussion: Queen Sugar
Saturday, March 10, 12 PM - 2 PM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss the acclaimed book which has also become a successful TV show. The Friends purchased limited copies of the book, which patrons can borrow soon from the Roslindale Library.

Queen Sugar
By Natalie Baszile

Readers, booksellers, and critics alike are embracing Queen Sugar and cheering for its heroine, Charley Bordelon, an African American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life amid the complexities of the contemporary South.

When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.

InThisCountryBook Discussion: In the Country We Love
Thursday, April 5, 6:30 PM
Roslindale Library

We will discuss actress Diane Guerrero's memoir and the current debate around immigration reform.  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.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided
By Diane Guerrero

The star of Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin presents her personal story of the real plight of undocumented immigrants in this country

Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family.

In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman's extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven't been told. Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author's and on a system that fails them over and over.

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 on 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 soon 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.

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

We will discuss George Orwell's dystopian classic in a three-part series. 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.

1984
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.