Book of the Month:
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
The book’s title conjures the painful memory of the eight years during the Reconstruction-era when it seemed as if Black people finally had a chance to be fully integrated into the fabric of American life. This hope was quickly quelled by a governmental enforced segregation that would later inspire similar laws in Apartheid South Africa. The decades long set-back seemed to have an opportunity of reversal with the slow passage of Civil Rights laws and the eventual elevation of Barack Obama into the White House. However, rather than demonstrate the hope of a unified nation, Obama’s eight years in power served to amplify the deep roots of the racial division that continues to plague the United States. We Were Eight Years in Power is a compilation of Ta-Nehisi Coates editorials for the Atlantic, each contextualized by reflective journal entries that detail honest lessons learned after publication.
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According to Amazon, Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son.”
Top takeaway from this month’s book:
The racist foundation upon which the United States has been built must be totally dismantled and replaced if it is serious about being a nation “with liberty and justice for all.”
In this month’s Interfaith Roundtable meeting, we will be discussing:
- Parallels between the post-Civil War era and the post-Civil Rights era
- The impact of the first “black” president on a nation still shaped by its past
- Factors contributing to the emergence of the first “white” president
- Black liberal and conservative assessments of how “blacks” should relate to the broader society
- The enduring effects of redlining and mass incarceration on the Black community
- Whether a “post-racial” America will ever become a reality
This month, our panelists are:
- Professor Preston Foster is on the History and Political Science faculty at Oakwood University. As a White House fellow, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education in the Clinton Administration and was the Chief Marketing Officer for the Interactive Learning Division of Educational Testing Service (ETS).
- Audrey Jordan is the chair of the Civic Engagement program at Claremont Lincoln University. She is the founder of ADJ Consulting and Coaching and has extensive experience in community engagement and evaluation.
The Interfaith Roundtable is a monthly discussion on a book that’s relevant to interfaith action and social justice. We invite you to join us each month by reading the selected book and watching the live discussion on Facebook Live. The live discussions will include CLU faculty, leaders in the field, as well as occasionally the author of the book.