Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's powerful short story about the relationship between two girls over many years traces the subtle differences that both drive and separate us. Some of the social class tensions Morrison addresses spring from everyday life, others are apparent only because there are no racial labels in this story. What are the sources of the characters’ troubled relationship? What do those struggles have to do with race or social class? And, what, if anything, do our answers to these questions suggest to us about the struggles of building bridges across divides in America? Morrison's quick, powerful narrative style and hard-hitting ending draw the reader in as she examines varying shades of skin tone, perception, and interpretation.
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Leaving Home, eds. Rochman and McCampbell (International Creative Management, Inc., 1983)
What causes division between people and groups?What kinds of relationships matter the most?What makes it possible for us to connect to others? What gets in the way?How do we connect with those who are different from us?How do we learn to have dialogue across difference? What does it look like?Is difference a problem, an opportunity, a challenge or a gift?What assumptions do we make about others?How has my family or background shaped who I am?Is your sense of individual identity ever in conflict with your community? How?What do we know for sure? What do we not know?What is the value of uncertainty?How does race affect our relations to others?What assumptions do we make about people from different races, ethnicities and cultures?
Civically Engaged Reader