Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for February 2018

February 14, 2018

February’s meeting was a discussion of the book Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson. Although the group was small, the discussion was lively and engaging, with personal stories sprinkled throughout the conversation. Topics were wide-ranging, and covered many aspects of the subject matter, including history, racial identity, colonization, and how groups may be more effective in society than individuals at times. Members felt that the author’s use of the jeremiad was an effective form to convey the message and intent in the thoughts and arguments he presented. The group saw that the impact on the reader is strong, and they shared quotations and read passages from the book aloud.

Other highlighted themes included the author’s discussion of the power and origin of words in a racial context, the meaning of race and whiteness, and white privilege and white innocence. There was also a discussion of how the author took the known information about grief and its stages and applied it to white racial grief. The group concluded with questions: Were people more active in the past? Are they more individualistic at the present time?

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