More Than A Book Club: Weekly Bronx Book Club Centers Around Social Issues

One Book Club in the Bronx is using their love of reading to highlight social issues faced in our borough. Aptly named One Book One Bronx, this book club is a community-centered book club that hosts weekly restorative conversations related to gentrification, social justice, women’s empowerment, and criminal justice. Launched in October 2018, reading selections reflect the racial, economic, and gender demographics of the Bronx and build bridges to engagement while (re)sparking a love of literature.

Their current read is Jamel Brinkley’s A Lucky Man, which is partly set in the Bronx. See below for information on their upcoming schedule. To find a book club near you, check out our Bronx Book Club Guide.

NEXT BOOK: A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
DATES: Tuesdays, 6:30pm to 8:00pm Feb 18, 25, Mar 3, 10, & 17, 2020
LOCATION: BronxArtSpace, 305 E 140th St., Bronx, NY
In nine powerful stories, Jamel Brinkley (who was raised in the Bronx) explores the charged, complex ties between men whose mistakes threaten their relationships with friends, lovers, and family members.

The first 25 book club attendees receive a free copy of the reading selection. Since its beginning, the book club has distributed over 300 free books. One Book One Bronx has met in numerous locations throughout the Bronx (Bronx Native, Bronx Library Center, and BronxArtSpace). In addition to our current location, BronxArtSpace, the book club also meets at the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, 928 Simpson Ave. Our goal is to build a network of book clubs that will grow readers. All books are purchased through The Lit Bar, the Bronx’s only bookstores.

“The One Book One Bronx book club is creating a space for those in the New York City borough to gather and discuss issues affecting their community, from gentrification or #MeToo to criminal justice and racial inequality.” -Adam Rowe, Forbes

Bronxite Ron Kavanaugh launched the Literary Freedom Project and One Book One Bronx with the goal of increasing readership throughout the borough.

One Book One Bronx seeks to resuscitate the beauty of reading, restore the intimacy of books and culture, and create a space that mines the cultural narratives of Bronx neighborhoods. Participants come together to discuss that week’s assigned chapters, and a paid facilitator leads the discussions. However, we encourage anyone in the club to take the lead, generate tangential conversations, and build new bridges that may take us away from the reading material and connect to current events and other socially relevant text.

One Book One Bronx is presented by the Literary Freedom Project. LFP believes that cultural identity is a fundamental cornerstone in the development of smart, creative, and engaged communities. These qualities, on which cultures are sustained and strengthened, are honed, in part, through a mix of immersive reading –academic, vocational, and pleasure. OB is a public discussion group that recenters literature as a way to build community conversations related to gentrification, social justice, women’s empowerment, criminal justice, and racial inequality.

Upcoming Schedule

Feb 18, 25, Mar 3, 10, & 17, 2020
A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley*

Mar 24, 31, Apr 7, 14, & 21, 2020
Song of the Water Saints by Nelly Rosario

May 5, 12, 19, 26, & June 2, 2020
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

June 9, 16, 23, & 30, 2020
Corregidora by Gayl Jones

March 25, April 1, 8, 15, & 22, 2020
Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez*

June 3, 10, 17, 24, & July 1, 2020
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera*

July 15, 22, 29, Aug 5, & 12, 2020
Locked Gray / Linked Blue: Stories by Kem Joy Ukwu*

*writers from the Bronx, NY

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