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A Guide to African and African-American Studies

Welcome. This is the First Year Reading Program (FYRP) and Staff Summer Reading Program 2016 Selection

"This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it"

With funding from the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Diversity, 150 copies of the book will be distributed at no cost to the first 150 staff members who sign-up for a staff book discussion session. Additional support for the program is provided by the University Libraries, FYRP, and the Office of Human Resources. The sessions will take place in Olin Library:

Session 1: August 2, Tuesday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 2: August 3, Wednesday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 3: August 4, Thursday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 4: August 4, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Session 5: August 16, Tuesday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 6: August 17, Wednesday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 7: August 18, Thursday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 8: August 18, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Session   9: August 22, Monday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 10: August 23, Tuesday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 11: August 25, Thursday, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Session 12: August 25, Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Staff can register for one of the August Noon Book Discussions sessions through HRMS at: (scroll to bottom of the page)

 For additional information contact:  Rudolph Clay for additional information:






About the book

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * LONG LISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD * Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States" ( The New York Observer ) "This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it." In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men--bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son--and readers--the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. Praise for Between the World and Me "Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders, and it is something to behold: a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers at the very moment national events most conform to his vision." -- The Washington Post "I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory." --Toni Morrison "A brilliant thinker at the top of his powers, Coates has distilled four hundred years of history and his own anguish and wisdom into a prayer for his beloved son and an invocation to the conscience of his country. An instant classic and a gift to us all." --Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns "I know that this book is addressed to the author's son, and by obvious analogy to all boys and young men of color as they pass, inexorably, into harm's way. I hope that I will be forgiven, then, for feeling that Coates was speaking to me, too, one father to another, teaching me that real courage is the courage to be vulnerable." --Michael Chabon "A work of rare beauty . . . a love letter written in a moral emergency, one that Coates exposes with the precision of an autopsy and the force of an exorcism." -- Slate"

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