Black History Month Community Book Study

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Dear Cazenovia Community Members,

As a celebration of Black History Month, we are inviting interested community members to join community members from ARC-C – the Anti-Racism Coalition of Cazenovia – for some healthful and hopeful conversation focused on the book Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (young adult version co-written by Jason Reynolds).

Cazenovia Public Library is in the process of procuring both the young adult and the adult versions of the book, which takes readers on a journey through the history of race in America and encourages readers to identify and root out racism in their daily lives in order to embrace empathy, respect, and healing.  Members of the book group can choose to read either the young adult or the adult version of the book, both of which contain the ideas which will be discussed in the group.  Books may also be obtained for purchase online (find a list of Black-owned bookstores to support here).  

Meetings will take place on Wednesdays throughout February and March:  February 2nd, February 16th, and March 2nd in Room 204 of Cazenovia High School, from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM.  (Portico doors to the high school, off of the West Parking Lot,  will be accessible for participants.)  Participants may also join by Zoom, and a link will be shared with you via email prior to the 1st meeting.  Members are encouraged to come to the group with open hearts, ready to discuss both the book and their experiences with race in their lives, and with grace for everyone involved in the discussions.  

Kurt Wheeler will be leading Cazenovia High Students in a simultaneous study of the teen version of the book, and the hope is that the two groups can ultimately unite after their studies of the book for a whole-group meeting.

If you’re interested, please contact Louise or Alan Smith (who will lead the group) at or Wendy Everard (who will participate and lend her classroom to the group for use) at

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