Racial Justice Book Club

Raising Awareness of Racial Justice

Every other month, a high quality, carefully vetted book focusing on racial justice issues will be selected for participants to read and discuss. Unless otherwise noted, racial justice book club meetings are held at 6:15 PM on the second Monday of the month and are free and open to the public. Book club meetings are held at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, 7401 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO 63130. 

Questions? Email Becky Clausen, Racial Justice Book Club facilitator.

October 8, 2018

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

From Harper Collins: “This 2013 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction is a gripping true story of racism, murder, rape, and the law. It brings to light one of the most dramatic court cases in American history, and offers a rare and revealing portrait of Thurgood Marshall, the future U.S. Supreme Court justice, that the world has never seen before.”

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Upcoming Books

December 10, 2018

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

From NPR: “This tale inspired by The Great Gatsby is set in the contemporary South and follows the difficulties endured by an extended black family with colliding visions of the American dream. This was the Kirkwood Library Big Read in spring, 2018.”




February 11, 2019

Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver

From Supersummary: “A collection of essays, written while the author served time in Folsom Prison, which were instrumental in forming the ideas behind the black power movement. Cleaver became a prominent member of the Black Panthers, advocating urban guerilla warfare against a corrupt police force. Late in life, he turned from the radical left towards conservative politics causing renewed interest in this classic book.”




April 8, 2019

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women by Susan Burton & Cari Lynn

From Booklist: “In this “stirring and moving tour-de-force”, Susan takes us on her own journey through the criminal justice system—from growing up amid poverty and abuse in L.A. to battling addiction after tragically losing her son, and from cycling in and out of prison for more than fifteen years to her transformation into a powerful advocate for “a more humane justice system guided by compassion and dignity.”




June 10, 2019

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

From Smithsonian: “ Tells the Story of the Slave Trade’s Last Survivor. Published in May 2018, eight decades after it was written, it offers a first-hand account of a Middle Passage journey. Listening, rather than reading this book, is recommended.”




August 12, 2019

Rise of the Warrior Cop: the Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko

From Amazon: “Balko shows how politicians’ ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. His fascinating, frightening narrative shows how over a generation, a creeping battlefield mentality has isolated and alienated American police officers and put them on a collision course with the values of a free society.”



Books Previously Read

Here is a list of books read, enjoyed and discussed by Women’s Voices members and guests during the past year. We encourage you to read one or all. You will find these books thought provoking, challenging, and very timely in today’s racial climate.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Black Man in a White Coat by Damon Tweedy

South of Haunted Dreams by Eddie L. Harris

On the Run by Alice Goffman

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Courtroom to the Kill Zones by Connie Rice

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy DeGruy

March (three-book series) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving