Join Your Neighbors in Reading Brown Girl Dreaming

The South Burlington Community Library invites you to participate in a statewide read of Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming for Vermont Reads 2017. This beautiful memoir of the author’s childhood, written in verse, tells the story of a young person finding her voice and examines the strength of family bonds. A grant from the Vermont Humanities Council has awarded the South Burlington Community Library 65 copies of Brown Girl Dreaming to share with the public. Copies of the book are available to check out at the Library’s display, and book groups may reserve sets.

In reflecting on this book, Ms. Woodson remarked, “Raised in South Carolina and New York, I always felt halfway home in each place. In Brown Girl Dreaming, I share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and my growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.  It also reflects the joy of finding my voice through writing stories, despite the fact that I struggled with reading as a child. My love of stories inspired and stayed with me, creating the first sparks of the writer that I was to become.” Library staff has already led two discussions of this poetic memoir. At the first, a participant shared that reading the book had “brought me to a place of healing I never thought I needed.”

Brown Girl Dreaming provides many opportunities for rich and varied community events and activities. The Community Library, together with SB Mentoring, Pillsbury Manor, and SBHS, is hosting a variety of community-wide Vermont Reads events.

March 21, 2 pm              Kathryn Woods presents her one-woman show, A Woman, Ain’t I?
This program tells Sojourner Truth’s story in her own words, speeches and songs.

March 29, 3:30 pm,     Book Discussion with SB Mentoring and the SBHS Diversity Union
An afternoon of multi-generational conversation, snacks, and fun. Children and adults alike will enjoy the beauty and authenticity of this memoir of growing up.

April (date and time TBD)        Two-part Workshop on Implicit Bias
Kerry Fantelli, who works at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at UVM and also sits on the Divisional Diversity Council for the Division of Student Affairs, will facilitate.

April 13, 10:30 am       Book Discussion at The Pines Apartments

May 24, Noon      Multi-generational Book Discussion
The Recreation and Parks Young at Heart program, and SBHS students will share lunch and discuss the book.

June (date and time TBD)
The library will hold its 2nd annual reading of Frederick Douglass’ July 4th speech.

This will be the fifteenth year of the Vermont Reads program, in which the VHC invites Vermonters across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to its themes. To date, 200 different Vermont towns and cities have participated in Vermont Reads.

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