Pat Clark of the English and creative writing faculty has volunteered to moderate a five-week summer reading/discussion group on “Can We Talk about Race? How Black Lives Matter,” coordinated by the college’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. 

Participants in this group will read three books -- “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin, “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and “Can We Talk about Race?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum -- in that order. 

Participants will also read some of the work collected in a Google document assembled during and after Clark’s recent workshop, “21st Century Racism.” 

The aims for the discussion sessions are to work toward more nuanced understandings of black people and lives; to think about how racism and, to an extent, anti-racism impedes understandings of black lives; and using Tatum's book and materials in the Google doc to think about ways to infuse productive work about race into syllabi in the fall.

The reading/discussion group will meet for five consecutive Mondays over Zoom from 10 to 11:30 a.m., beginning on June 29. All books are available in a digital format.

Schedule for discussions:

  • Session 1 (June 29): Introduction; Baldwin, "The Fire Next Time"
  • Sessions 2 and 3 (July 6 and 13): Coates, "Between the World and Me"
  • Session 4 (July 20): Tatum, "Can We Talk about Race?"
  • Session 5 (July 27): finish Tatum book; Teaching Race: Classroom Practices and Strategies

To join, fill out this short registration form.