January 9, 2021, Submitted by The Hingham Unity Council
Books have the power to let us experience the world through another’s eyes and expand our worldview. In that spirit, Hingham Unity Council is preparing a new book club series for 2021 that will alternate nonfiction and fiction selections and bring the community together in conversation.
The first three books have been selected, with a plan to open the future selection process based on participant interest and input. Discussions will be held virtually until in-person gatherings can be held safely. Community members are invited to participate in as many discussions as they wish but need not register for all discussions to participate.
The first book, Waking Up White by Debbie Irving, is an eye-opener for many. It chronicles the author’s sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions with a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. The first community book discussion is scheduled for Tuesday evening, February 9, 2021. Register for the first discussion at https://hinghamunity.org/event/community-book-read-series-1/.
Switching gears to fiction, the second book, New York Times Bestseller The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich, is based on the extraordinary life of the author’s grandfather, a Native leader who waged a real-life struggle for his tribe’s survival. The novel’s memorable characters crafted through the author’s compassion, wit, and intelligence are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature.
The third book will be How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Another New York Times Bestseller, this essential book takes readers beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society. Kendi helps readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.
“Our goal is to foster a more inclusive community,” says Tien Do-Suarez, founding member of the Hingham Unity Council. “By alternating between a variety of fiction and nonfiction books, we hope to bring more people into important conversations around the urgent issues of race, justice, and equality.”
The new series follows three successful community reads and virtual discussions in 2020, including Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi, Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum, and a video chat with Dolly Chugh about her book The Person You Mean to Be, How Good People Fight Bias.
For more information about these and other upcoming events and initiatives, join the Hingham Unity Council’s email list at www.hinghamunity.org and follow www.facebook.com/hinghamunitycouncil. Formed by members of the Hingham community in the fall of 2019, Hingham Unity Council is part of the South Shore Unity Council, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All are welcome to participate.