Blake Memorial Library Events & More

New Book Discussion Series – “Systemic: Racism in America”

With the current unrest, racial injustices and protests in our country, many of you have asked for books and discussions to better understand racism, it’s history, and how it has become systemic in America.

We have heard your requests and therefore will begin our newest book discussion series – “Systemic : Racism in America” – sponsored by The Vermont Humanities Council.  Suzanne Brown will be facilitating once again.  Please review our the Discussion List and Schedule below.  You can get a copy of the book during curbside and limited service hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-6 pm.  Email to get the link.

October 16th at 4:30 via Zoom The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. 

“Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about the struggle for justice.  This was such a heartbreakingly honest account of what is happening in America right now.  As a white reader, the experience this story affords its readers cannot be taken for granted.” -Reader review, Goodreads

On October 23rd we will hold a screening of the filmThe Hate U Give at 6:00 on the library lawn with heaters and hot chocolate.



November 13th @ 4:30 – How to be an Anti racist by Ibram X. Kendi

“IIbram X Kendi has been a lifelong racist – as he confesses in this book – then we all have. This is the unsettling idea at the heart of How to Be an Antiracist, in which one of the US’s most respected scholars of race and history steps away from documenting the racist sins of others, and turns the lens pointedly, uncomfortably, at himself.

Kendi’s argument is brilliantly simple. An idea, action or policy is either racist – that is, contributing to a history that regards and treats different races as inherently unequal – or it is antiracist, because it is trying to dismantle that history. There is nothing in between. There is no pure state of racism or anti-racism: people of all races and backgrounds can fall into either category depending on their ideas, actions or the policies they support.”

-The Guardian

December 11th @ 4:30 – Their Eyes Were Watching God –

by Zora Neale Hurston

“Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person — no mean feat for a black woman in the ’30s. Janie’s quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots.” – Good Reads



January 15th @ 4:30 – The Fire next Time by James Baldwin

“The Fire Next Time is a 1963 non-fiction book by James Baldwin, containing two essays: “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” and “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region of My Mind”. -Wikipedia

“At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.” – Amazon Books

“Basically the finest essay I’ve ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone’s hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you.” –Ta-Nehisi Coates on “The Fire Next Time”

February 12th @ 4:30 – Confederate in the Attic by Tony Horwitz






March 12th @ 4:30 – Beloved  by Toni Morrison






We will be suggesting relevant and related movies during this time, as well. Please stay tuned for more information, titles, and how/when/where to view these films.