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Community Book ReadThe Lakeland University Community Book Read is an opportunity for the greater community to come together with Lakeland students, faculty and staff and discuss good books and powerful stories.

Each year, after a book is selected by a cross-section of faculty and staff, we invite the entire community to read and discuss the book with us.

In the spring, we welcome the author of the book to Lakeland's campus for workshops with our students, as well as a book discussion with the community.

The Community Book Read is generously supported by the Kohler Foundation, Inc. and the Zieve Foundation.

Our next event:

Jelani Cobb

For our fifth annual event, we are reading "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Our keynote speaker will be Jelani Cobb
The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today

Thursday, April 12, 2018
7:30 p.m. Bradley Theatre, Lakeland University

View community partner events that are part of this year's book read.

About our speaker

Jelani Cobb, the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer at The New Yorker, is the author of "The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress" as well as "To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic."

His articles and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, The New Republic, Essence, Vibe, The Progressive and TheRoot.com. His collection "The Devil and Dave Chappelle and Other Essays" was published in 2007. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies including In "Defense of Mumia," "Testimony," "Mending the World" and "Beats, Rhymes and Life."

He joined the Columbia Journalism School faculty in 2016. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture.

He was most recently an associate professor of history and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut where he specialized in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. Cobb is also a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations.

He is editor of "The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader." Born and raised in Queens, New York, he is a graduate of Howard University and Rutgers University where he received his doctorate in American history.

About the book, "Between the World and Me"

Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States" (The New York Observer)

The 2015 National Book Award winner is a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

"Between the World and Me" is Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, "Between the World and Me" clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Previous events

Lauren Groff

2017: Lauren Groff - "Fates and Furies"

Lauren Groff, author of "Fates and Furies," a finalist for the National Book Award, and Amazon's #1 Best Book of the Year in 2015, was the centerpiece of Lakeland's fourth annual Community Book Read.

Groff spent the morning with students, as well as faculty and staff, for a Q&A, then spoke to a full house in the Bradley Theatre that evening. Groff talked about her books, which include "The Monsters of Templeton," "Arcadia" and the celebrated short-story collection "Delicate Edible Birds," her writing process and answered specific questions from the audience members about her novel and short stories. Read more.

swamplandia2016: Karen Russell - "Swamplandia"

Karen Russell, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated fictional novel "Swamplandia!", was the centerpiece of Lakeland College's third annual Community Book Read.

Russell met with students from Lakeland, Elkhart Lake/Glenbulah High School, and IDEAS Academy, as well as faculty and staff, for a Q&A earlier in the day on April 12, and spoke to a full house in the Bradley Theatre that evening. Russell talked about her writing process as well answered specific questions from the audience members about her novel and short stories. Read more.

2015: Ishmael Beah - "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier"
"A Long Way Gone" was a No. 1 National Bestseller and was named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2007 by Time Magazine. Read more.

2014: Chad Harbach - "The Art of Fielding"
"The Art of Fielding," Harbach's debut novel, was named one of the New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2011 and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award in 2012. Read more.

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24 Jul
Free yoga
Jul 24 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
25 Jul
Lit Loungers Book Group
Jul 25 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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