West Seattle
Book Club

Afternoon Meeting

Tuesday, March 31, 12:30-2:00pm
Evening Meeting
Tuesday, March 31, 7:00-8:30pm

It is time to move from "not racist" to anti-racist, but what does that really mean?

Conversations about race and racism abound, as do book groups and social justice clubs. This group is specifically focused on what does it mean to be an anti-racist within a racist society.

West Seattle is brimming with progressives who want to engage in racial justice work, and yet many co-laborers of color lament the lack of analysis that is often brought to bear on this work. This book club aims to deepen the analysis of well-intentioned progressives, pushing us beyond being "not racist" and towards a deeper understanding of and commitment to being anti-racist.

Why three books at a time?

There are so many amazing resources out there about moving beyond a conversation about personal prejudice and toward a systems-based analysis of racism and white supremacy. These resources reference one another and amplify one another. Therefore, we will gather every three months to bring three books into conversation with one another.

The hope is that each participant will have closely read at least one of the selected books and will join in the discussion to lift up the relevant contributions that work makes. By doing this, we hope to deepen our understanding of what we have read by engaging it in conversation with other perspectives and ideas.

What will we read next time?

At our upcoming meeting, we will select a topic around which the group would like to learn more. Racism is an intersectional topic, and as such this book club can engage a myriad of issues through the lens of anti-racism.

Potential focus topics include:

- Criminal Justice Reform

- School to Prison Pipeline

- The Wars on Drugs, Crime, and Poverty

- Environmental Racism

- Colonialism (historical development)
- Neo-Colonialism and Global Market Capitalism
- Generational Poverty 

- The Case for Reparations for Slavery

- Psychology of Bias
- Microaggressions and Racial Stress

- Feminism and Womanism
- The Hype and Reality of Gun Violence
- The History and Future of Black Lives Matter

- The Growing Male Chauvenist/Patriot Movements

Ultimately, the selections will be drawn from the gathered body's collective interest. Our facilitator will bring extensive lists of resources for us to consider.

Selections for March

 Afternoon Club

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, by Carol Anderson

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness, by Michele Alexander

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine

Evening Club

Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism, by Shannon Sullivan

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Tatum

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine

Selections for January

At our afternoon club meeting 1.21, we discussed Oluo, Kendi, and DiAngelo’s works and how they spoke to one another. We discussed the issue of intersectionality as central to all three works, acknowledging that each person has a layered, multi-faceted set of identities. We decided we wanted to know more about the systems and structures that produce inequality, especially for people who identify and/or are identified by authorities as people of color. We added Rankine’s book of prose poetry to incorporate some of the lived experience of being on the other end of those systems.

At our evening club meeting 1.28, we discussed the same 3 works, digging into the question of what makes racism distinct from other forms of prejudice. We were especially challenged by the question of authenticity and the boundary between appreciating other cultures and cultural appropriation. We decided to dig into texts that offered more self-reflection on how racism shows up in our daily lives.