Turning a New Page: New Black History Month Book Club Emerges

Turning+a+New+Page%3A+New+Black+History+Month+Book+Club+Emerges

Ella Ray, Staff Writer

Black History Month has always encouraged students to educate themselves about the history of their classmates and feel safe to convey their culture, becoming closer and more inclusive as a society. Honoring this doorway of opportunities, counselor Remona Clark, along with the library staff, have created a space for acceptance and creativity: a book club. This gateway for self-expression allows the students to further explore diversity, learning more about their community and the cultures that surround them.

“There is a need for students and others to have a respectful conversation regarding possibly difficult topics such as their heritages,” said Clark. 

Combining her love for books and the warmth of welcomeness, Clark felt the need to bring students together, especially with all of the obstacles that came up last year. Making this safe space, Clark is hopeful that students will join and be willing to share their ideas and perceptions regarding the book selections that revolve around a culture that many students are a part of. Clark is also determined to improve students’ ability to relate to one another, even if they do not share the same thoughts.

“We don’t have to agree, but we do need to be willing to hear differing viewpoints,” said Clark.

With a packed schedule of giving guidance to students for their course selections, Clark looked to head librarian Kylee Slough for assistance in organizing the club. Slough hopes that her selection of the book, Stamped, will not only inspire students to have open minds towards their peers, but also for them to grow a connection with reading as a creative outlet. Another goal of Slough’s is for the club to help more students become aware of some of less commonly known history of the United States, letting students empathize with each other better.

“I suggested this book because it is not only comprehensive and well researched, it’s also edited by Jason Reynolds. His writing style is very relatable and understandable, and many students already love his books,” said Slough. “He made a very academic text more casual and easy to read.”

Regarding students’ health, both Clark and Slough agreed to hold meetings online. Slough also believes that there might be technology issues, but she is determined to take it one step at a time, trying to find resolutions for them as they come. Clark realizes how busy the students are this year, so she offers some tips with scheduling that will put their minds at ease.

“Due to COVID, the group will meet via Zoom. This can be an obstacle because people are tired of using Zoom,” said Clark. “My recommendation is to just attend and listen. Try to make time and schedule a few minutes each day to read the book.”