Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program chooses 3 finalist books for 2013
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads has announced three finalist books for next year's event.
AAYR is a "community read" program that encourages local residents to read the same book at the same time, and sponsors programs tied to the chosen book's themes. Next year's selection will fall under the subject of "understanding race."
The three finalists, chosen by a screening committee made up of library, bookstore and community representatives, are:
• "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander (2010)
• "The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie (2007).
• "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Social Justice" by Paul Kivel, 3rd revised and expanded edition (2011)
Public input is also welcome. Copies of the finalist books are available at local bookstores and the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti district libraries; comment on the choices at the AAYR website.
Here are descriptions of the books, provided by AAYR:
• Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness. New York: New Press, 2010, 2012 - an award-winning New York Times bestseller that challenges us to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”
• Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian. New York: Little Brown & Co., 2007 - A bestselling National Book Award-winning graphic novel of a boy trying to rise above the life everyone expects him to live.
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
• Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Social Justice, 3rd revised and expanded edition. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2011 - The third revised edition of a critically-acclaimed work that explores racism and its manifestations in politics, work, community, and family life and provides many useful tools, examples and advice.
Uprooting Racism explores the manifestations of racism in politics, work, community, and family life. It moves beyond the definition and unlearning of racism to address the many areas of privilege for white people and suggests ways for individuals and groups to challenge the structures of racism. Uprooting Racism’s welcoming style helps readers look at how we learn racism, what effects it has on our lives, its costs and benefits to white people, and what we can do about it.
In addition to updating existing chapters, the new edition of Uprooting Racism explores how entrenched racism has been revealed in the new economy, the 2000 electoral debacle, rising anti-Arab prejudice, and health care policy. Special features include exercises, questions, and suggestions to engage, challenge assumptions, and motivate the reader towards social action.
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2013 will take place in January and February. For more information, check out the website.