Watertown Library’s One Book, One Watertown Explores U.S. Race Relations

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This year, the Watertown Free Public Library has chosen Homegoing for its One Book, One Watertown title, a book that touches on race relations in the United States. The Library has several related events and activities planned in March.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a novel that tells multiple stories, in multiple voices, about two half-sisters and their descendants in Ghana and the U.S. While these characters’ lives may seem far removed from 21st-century Watertown, their humanity speaks across centuries and continents to our own deeply human fears and hopes. Their history is our history, and confronting it—along with the painful legacies of slavery, colonialism, and racism—is the goal of the WFPL’s 2017 One Book, One Watertown program.

Join us in March for events and discussions that will explore the historical and cultural touchpoints of the book while also looking at the current state of race relations in the U.S.

Community Book Discussion of Homegoing

Wednesday, March 1 | 7 p.m.

Join your neighbors for a casual book discussion. Share your thoughts and questions with the group. All are welcome.

Exhibit: An American Experience

In the Gallery throughout March

Photographer Khabeer Sultan celebrates the brilliance and complexities of black men and men of color.

Documentary: Alice’s Ordinary People

Thursday, March 2 | 6:30 p.m.

Filmmaker Craig Dudnick will talk about his experience making this film about civil rights activist Alice Tregay.

How to Talk About Slavery and Racism in 2017

Thursday, March 9 | 7 p.m.

Former Rhode Island State Representative Ray Rickman will speak about the history of slavery in New England and the current state of race relations.

Documentary: Can We Talk? Learning from Boston’s Busing/Desegregation Crisis

Saturday, March 11 | 2 p.m.

Screening of documentary about the Boston busing crisis. The film will be introduced by Horace Small, founder and Executive Director of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods, who commissioned the film, to talk about why they commissioned it, and how it was received.

Concert: Uptown String Quartet

Sunday, March 12 | 2 p.m.

The Uptown String Quartet will perform music from South Africa as part of our Sunday concert series.

A Taste of Ghana: Food Sampling (Tickets Required)

Panel Discussion: Race in Our Community

Tuesday, March 14 | Sampling at 6:30 p.m.

Discussion begins at 7 p.m.

First, we’ll gather together to sample some of the foods of Ghana from Safari African Restaurant. Then the Reverend Mark Harris will moderate a panel discussion on race in our community.

In the true spirit of community, tickets for the tasting will be ‘pay what you can,’ and will be available at the Circulation Desk starting 2/14. The panel discussion is open to all.

Documentary: 13th

Saturday, March 18 | 2 p.m.

Please join us for a screening and community discussion of Ava DuVernay’s stunning documentary 13th, hosted by Nat Harrison. Harrison’s particular interest is a Criminal Justice Policy Coalition initiative that would abolish legislation imposing life without the possibility of parole sentences in Massachusetts, replacing it with language mandating parole review after 25 years of incarceration.

Drum to the Beat: The Rhythms of Ghana

Saturday, March 25 | 2-4 p.m.

2-3 p.m. Adults only

3-4 p.m. All ages welcome!

Percussionist Otha Day will lead a drum circle featuring Ghanaian rhythms starting with an hour of exploration and learning for adults, followed by an hour that’s open to families and kids.

For more information, see http://watertownlib.org/onebook

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