The “Deeper Than Our Skins” book club is grounded in literature where each month a new book will offer points of connection that reach across time and cultures to affirm our shared humanity, while recognizing the importance of remembering and recounting unique origins and narratives.
To participate register here for the Zoom meetings. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the live events.
September's Featured Book: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
This book, written by the woman best known for introducing generations of Americans to Latinx culture as Maria on the long-running children’s show Sesame Street, intertwines family secrets and Puerto Rican heritage in a story about the love between mothers and daughters. Set against the 1969 youth-led uprising in Spanish Harlem, this tale of inter-generational conflict, social awakening, and racial and ethnic self-identification shows how understanding the past — of one’s self, one’s family, and one’s cultural heritage — can help youth take on the future.
Discussions - September 8th: Chapters 1-14 & September 22nd: Chapters 15-29
October's Featured Book: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This moving nonfiction book brings both personal and national pasts into conversation with the present in the form of a letter from Coates to his teenage son. Written in the age of Black Lives Matter, this intimate window into one man’s story centers on the recognition of how black lives have been and continue to be treated as less valuable than white ones in America: from their status as property under slavery to the effects of mass incarceration and police brutality today.Through its recollections of Coates’ own coming of age in Baltimore and stories about American violence against black bodies, this book asks us to identify where blackness fits in the “American dream.” At the same time, it challenges readers to recognize race as a primarily social invention, rather than a biological reality.
Discussions - October 6th: Prologue-The Fourth Change & October 20th: The Fifth Change-Epilogue
November's Featured Book: Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices by Lisa Charleyboy
This collection of short stories, poetry, interviews, and visual art offers insight into the vibrant array of experiences, nations, and identities that inform contemporary Indian voices.It emphasizes the pressing modern issues that young Native people navigate every day, from heartbreak to poverty to the desire for self-expression. In its organization and content, this book immediately disproves the popular myth that there is such a thing as a single Native American culture and that Native people can be associated with primitivism and the long-ago past. Instead,it challenges readers to ask themselves what role histories — both distant and recent, real and misconceptions — play in not only Native but indeed all of our contemporary identities.
Discussions - November 3rd: Part 1-Part 2 & November 17th: Part 3-Part 4
December's Featured Book: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. The Downstairs Girl doesn't shy away from the discrimination and unfairness that Jo faces at every turn because of her race and gender. The story is populated with many diverse characters of color and Stacey Lee takes the time to acknowledge the many permutations of injustice that all of them face.
Discussions - December 1st: Chapters 1-23 & December 15th: Chapters 24-Epilogue