It’s the summer before her freshmen year in high school in 1965. Sophie is planning on writing, hanging out with friends and just having a good time, but life and the rest of the world starts to get in the way her plans. First, the reality of racism really starts to set in for Sophie as she continually encounters prejudice in her almost all-white community; from being uninvited to pool parties to being accused of stealing. Her parents aren’t much help because they’re busy with their own lives and trying to salvage their marriage. Luckily, her older sister has always has her back, but that will change at the end of the summer when her sister leaves for college. Suddenly life isn’t as clear cut as she thought it was and once a close friend is arrested for no reason Sophie finds herself questioning things even more. An excellent piece of historical fiction that rings very true in today’s world.
My name is Emily Grayson, and I live in Evanston with my daughter and husband in a very cool six-unit building with some of my dearest friends. I hold a variety of great jobs around Evanston and Chicago: I work professionally as an actor and singer, I’m a standardized patient at the Feinberg School of Medicine, and I’ve been a massage therapist for the past 16 years and currently see clients at the Evanston Athletic Club. In my spare time, I can often be found knitting, sewing, singing or drinking coffee at various Evanston locales.
This was the first in a series of books I read for a Black Lives Matter reading group I started last January. It began a year-long discussion about race in America and the conversation has never been dull and has often been humbling. Wilkerson’s book and its first-person accounts of the three migrants at the center helped to give us context for our subsequent reads, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
My name is Michelle Cohen. I live in Evanston with my husband and two children. When I’m not designing lush gardens and landscapes for my clients, I can usually be found reading a book, or at the very least, talking about them.
My name is Chris Skoglund, and I am the librarian at Willard Elementary School in Evanston, where I have worked for almost thirteen years. I am an avid reader of books for both children and adults (which made picking only five books really difficult), so I consider myself to have the best job in the world!
An extraordinary mix of historical fiction and science fiction, this novel drew me in and would not let me go. Full of elegant imagery and characters that will linger in your mind long after the story is finished, each element worked seamlessly together.
My name is Marcus Campbell. I am the Assistant Superintendent and Principal at Evanston Township High School. I have been at ETHS for 15 years and started my career there teaching English. I love to read and enjoy the food scene.
Dr. Michelle M. Wright is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University and the author of the forthcoming book The Physics of Blackness: Rethinking the African Diaspora in the Postwar Era. On Tuesday, October 8th, she will discuss her new book and related topics when she visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. as part of the Evanston Northwestern Humanities Lecture Series. Titled “Blackness When You Least Expect It: Understanding Racial Diversity in the 21st Century,” Dr. Wright’s lecture will center on what it means to be “Black” and how Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and gravity influence our modern understanding of race. In anticipation of her visit, we recently spoke with her via email about the practical problems of undefined “Blackness”, the Middle Passage, Newton, identity as performance, and equality amidst diversity.