Curtis Memorial Library is one in a cohort of organizations and individuals throughout the state hosting a Maine Humanities Council Discussion Project this spring.

The Curtis discussion project is a Racial Equity Book Group and focuses on four titles:

  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This powerful, accessible novel explores family, society, and the destructive clash of cultures in the moment of colonization in Nigeria.
  • Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
  • The Fire This Time: a New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward. The National Book Award-winning author presents a continuation of James Baldwin’s 1963 The Fire Next Time that examines race issues from the past half century through essays, poems and memoir pieces by some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers.

The discussion facilitator will be Danny Chin (he/him). Danny is a multiracial queer Asian American. His work in education focuses on identity, equity, and social justice. He believes that we do our best learning when we can be our full, complicated selves and that the humanities offer us a time and space to engage in that important work. He is excited to contribute to meaningful discussions and moments of insight with the Maine Humanities Council and Curtis Memorial Library.

The Racial Equity Book Group begins Thursday, February 18, 7:00-8:00 pm and continues for four sessions (meeting the 3rd Thursday of the month), through May 20, 2021. Discussions will be virtual via Zoom. Register to attend at https://curtislibrary.libcal.com/event/7482579. We request that participants attend the complete series. Upon registration, participants will be given instructions on how to check out the Racial Equity Book Group Kit, which includes all four titles.

For more information on Curtis Library’s Racial Equity Book Group contact Sarah Brown, [email protected].

About Maine Humanities Council

The Maine Humanities Council uses books, poetry, and big ideas to bring people together to discuss issues of importance. MHC programs and grants encourage a deeper understanding of ourselves and one another, building lasting connections and reaching diverse, multi-generational, and rural audiences.

About Curtis Memorial Library

Curtis Memorial Library seeks to enhance the quality of life in our communities by advancing knowledge, fostering creativity, encouraging the exchange of ideas, and building community.  As an institution committed to serving all members of the community, the Library has an important role in removing barriers to success and taking action against systemic racism and oppression. The Curtis Library Board has issued a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement, which includes: We must listen, amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and be better allies. This is what libraries do: listen, convene, and support all of our community members. By hosting this Maine Humanities Council Discussion Project, we hope to listen, and amplify the voices of our black and brown community, and to represent, serve, and celebrate the diversity and lived experiences within our community.