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Let's Talk Race Virtual Book Club
Spring Semester

Let's Talk Race Virtual Book Club

Ohio University Eastern has partnered with the Ohio Valley Underground Railroad Museum, Ohio Valley, WV Public Library, and St. Clairsville, OH Public library to offer the "Let's Talk Race" book club for our students and the community.  

The ‘Let’s Talk Race’ book club was established in March 2022 by the Belmont County NAACP to educate the public about the history and issues of race relations in the United States. In January 2023 the Ohio Valley Underground Railroad Museum Director, Kristina Estle graciously accepted the lead role as coordinator for the book club. 

The book club is open to the public, and we encourage all to join and be a part of the change. It all begins with discussion. The books include a variety of historical topics such as slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, various biographies of civil rights leaders and activists, and more covering today's issues such as racial injustices, mass incarceration, political reforms, and other racial discriminations that society experiences today. It is essential to educate oneself on the history of race to get a better understanding of today’s issues. The book club is also designed to foster discussions due to the fact that change can not happen without the ability to discuss race.


Special Incentive for OHIO Eastern students

Any OHIO Eastern student who participates in the "Let's Talk Race" Book Club can qualify to receive a FREE Kindle device.

To qualify to receive a FREE Kindle device current students must meet ALL of the following:

1.  Email Kristina Estle to enroll in the "Let's Talk Race" Book Club

2. Download, borrow, or purchase a copy of the book selection each month.  (February, March, and April)

3. Read the book selection of the month. (February, March, and April)

4. Attend and join the book club discussion meeting each month. (February, March, and April)

How do I claim my FREE Kindle device?

The Underground Railroad Museum Director, Kristina Estle will email a complete list of all qualifying students to the Dean's office at the end of Spring Semester.  Each qualifying student listed will receive notification via email from the Dean's office which will include Kindle device pick up instructions.


February Selection

The New York Times best-selling book, White Fragility explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine)." Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.


March Selection

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, “white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,” she writes, “everyone had ignored the kindling.”

Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House.

Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.


April Selection

Allow Me to Retort is an easily digestible argument about what rights we have, what rights Republicans are trying to take away, and how to stop them. Mystal explains how to protect the rights of women and people of color instead of cowering to the absolutism of gun owners and bigots. He explains the legal way to stop everything from police brutality to political gerrymandering, just by changing a few judges and justices. He strips out all of the fancy jargon conservatives like to hide behind and lays bare the truth of their project to keep America forever tethered to its slave holding past.

Mystal brings his trademark humor, expertise, and rhetorical flair to explain concepts like substantive due process and the right for the LGBTQ community to buy a cake, and to arm readers with the knowledge to defend themselves against conservatives who want everybody to live under the yoke of eighteenth-century white men. The same tactics Mystal uses to defend the idea of a fair and equal society on MSNBC and CNN are in this book, for anybody who wants to deploy them on social media.


Check out the following apps to download the monthly book selections



Thanks to Our Partners


St. Clairsville Public Library
Ohio County Public Library
Underground Railroad Museum - Ohio Valley

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