People around the world are being awakened to the realities of systemic racism and white privilege, then asking questions about what they can do personally to effect change. Some practical action steps you can take right now are talking to your kids about race, supporting black-owned businesses, educating yourself, and engaging in uncomfortable dialogues about race. Here at New Orleans Mom, our team is committed to all of these, and more. One of the many steps we are taking as individuals and as an organization is to start a virtual book club reading and discussing books covering these important issues. We have chosen to read and discuss Between the World and Me as a team and will be sharing our journey through our social media platforms along the way, using the hashtag #NOMBookClub.
Because hard conversations happen best within the context of relationship, we’re inviting you to do the same within your sphere of influence.
5 easy steps to starting your own virtual book club
1. Choose a book.
You can read Between the World and Me and follow along with us as we share, or choose from a variety of other timely books including White Fragility, The Hate You Give, So You Want to Talk About Race, Just Mercy or How to be an Antiracist. (Note: Many of these books are sold out on Amazon and have long waits at the library, check other online and local book distributors or consider getting the ebook or audiobook option which are currently available.)
2. Invite a group of friends.
I recommend purposefully choosing a diverse group. I also recommend keeping groups to 10 people or less when possible to give everyone ample opportunity to share their thoughts.
3. Set a time and outlet for discussion.
I recommend giving everyone one month to get and read the book while having a set date for when your discussion will be. Then you’ll need to choose whether you want to do a Zoom call, Google hangout, Facebook group or Voxer thread to discuss.
4. Prepare questions.
You can create your own, or find already formulated questions for many books on websites such as LitLovers. Here are some questions specifically for Between the World and Me.
5. Have a facilitator to guide the discussion.
You’ll need to have one person (can be you) in charge of guiding the discussion, making sure everyone gets a chance to talk, asking questions and ensuring everything stays on track and respectful.
Anti-racism begins with self-education, the more we know and understand systemic problems and the pain of our brothers and sisters, the more our hearts and actions will change. Do your part.
If you’re interested in participating in a virtual book club but don’t have a group you can read and discuss with, please contact us at [email protected] and let us know.