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Listening to Writers of Color
Tuesday, August 25 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
In August, our Book Group will be meeting a little earlier than usual to allow for Melissa Valentine to join us to discuss her book,The Names of All the Flowers. Since we’re meeting early, please feel free to bring a lunch.
About this month’s book:
Melissa and her older brother Junior grow up running around the disparate neighborhoods of 1990s Oakland, two of six children to a white Quaker father and a black Southern mother. But as Junior approaches adolescence, a bullying incident and later a violent attack in school leave him searching for power and a sense of self in all the wrong places; he develops a hard front and falls into drug dealing. Right before Junior’s twentieth birthday, the family is torn apart when he is murdered as a result of gun violence. The Names of All the Flowers connects one tragic death to a collective grief for all black people who die too young.
“In this poignant, painful, and gorgeous memoir, Melissa Valentine bravely explores what faces black boys and men, through the eyes of a black woman, sister, daughter, and member of a family whose lives are altered forever, time and time again. The Names of All the Flowers encourages us to be brave too; brave enough to imagine a world that loves black people, in all of our complexities.
–Alicia Garza, cofounder, Black Lives Matter