Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Book Club Series

The works of renowned American novelist and social critic, James Baldwin, will be front and center during the “Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” book club series in Winter Park, Florida this January through March 2018.  Taking place at both the Winter Park Public Library (WPPL) and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center the first two Sundays of each month, January through March 2018, the series will spotlight the author’s essays and films addressing racial and class intricacies in Western society as well as the role of activism.    

“James Baldwin’s legacy still has so much to teach us today about race and our democracy and this book discussion series offers patrons an insightful occasion to delve into the writings of one of America’s undisputed literary leaders,” said Dr. Ruth Edwards, Director of Education for the WPPL.  “Our valuable partnership with Hannibal Center gives the series a strong community platform growing both our educational reach.”

The series begins with movie screenings at the library each first Sunday from 2 to 4pm in the third-floor meeting room with discussions to follow.  January 7 will feature Baldwin’s renowned “I Am Not Your Negro,” an Academy Award nominated documentary based on Baldwin’s thoughts and works. Baldwin’s close friendships with civil rights leaders, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., will likely channel the dialogue.  February’s event will feature “Perspectives on Athletes and Activism,” discussing the role of athletes as activists led by perspectives from Bryant Gumbel, Bob Costas and Shannon Sharpe.  On March 4th there will be a screening of Ava DuVernay’s “13th” followed by a discussion of the US prison system and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.   Registration is required and can be done by calling 407.623.3300 or visiting wppl.org. 

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center will be the location for discussions of several of Baldwin’s most influential writings, with relevant dialogue addressing such topics as race and civil rights and its impact on democracy.  On January 14, “The Cross of Redemption,” a collection of works by and about Baldwin never collected in book, will center the conversation.  “Notes of a Native Son” will be the February 11 journey into Baldwin’s personal account of being black in America. This powerful essay gives today’s Black Lives Matter movement a historic significance.  On March 11, Baldwin’s national bestseller of 1963, “The Fire Next Time,” shows readers the disturbing consequences of racial injustice which helped give voice to the emerging civil rights era of the 60s and will offer attendees ironic connection to today’s social climate.  All book discussions at the Hannibal Center will take place the second and third Sundays of the month from 2 to 4; and require registration by visiting 407-539-2680.

James Baldwin Book Discussion: The Cross of Redemption
Sunday, January 14, 28, 2 – 4 p.m., Hannibal Square Heritage Center
A post-humous gathering of works by and about Baldwin that has never before appeared in book form. The writings provide an important addition to the legacy of an undisputed American writer, who still has much to teach us about race, democracy, and personal and national identity.
A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

February:
James Baldwin Book Group: Perspectives on Athletes and Activism
Sunday, February 4, 2 – 4 p.m., Winter Park Public Library, third floor meeting room
A discussion of the role of athletes as activists led by perspectives from Bryant Gumbel, Bob Costas, and Shannon Sharpe.
A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

James Baldwin Book Discussion: Notes of a Native Son
Sunday, February 11, 25, 2 – 4 p.m., Hannibal Square Heritage Center
Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. In an age of Black Lives Matter, James Baldwin's essays are as powerful today as when they were first written.
A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

March:
James Baldwin Book Group: 13th
Sunday, March 4, 2 – 4 p.m., Winter Park Public Library, third floor meeting room
A screening of Ava DuVernay’s 13th followed by a discussion of the US prison system and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

James Baldwin Book Discussion: The Fire Next Time
Sunday, March 11, 25, 2 – 4 p.m., Hannibal Square Heritage Center
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, this is a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice; it galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement.
A Partnership with Hannibal Square Heritage Center Let’s Talk Diversity, Equity and Inclusion