The Millburn-Short Hills Townwide Summer Read 2020 comes as an offshoot of the protests against and discussions about systemic racism in modern America. Millburn-Short Hills, is a community of friends, neighbors, businesses and colleagues. We have decided to take this unique opportunity of a time fraught with tension, yet unnaturally paused by pandemic, to do a collective read, with the hope that we can bring more understanding, compassion and dialogue to our community.

In July, the discussion was based on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. 

In August, the group read  Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt. 

In the coming months, we have the opportunity to continue the conversation, by interacting with authors. This is a unique chance to get a deeper understanding of what lies behind the pages, and further move the dialogue forward.


In September, we will be reading "You Can Keep That To Yourself: a comprehensive list of what not to say to black people, for well intentioned people of pallor" by Adam Smyer. The discussion will take place on October 1st, at 7.30pm. The author will be interviewed by James Tracy, coauthor of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban RaceRebels, and Black Power. 

In October, the chosen book is "The Golden Thirteen: how black men won the right to wear Navy Gold" by Dan Goldberg. We will meet the author virtually for a Q&A on October 21st at 7.30pm. 

Please purchase the books here and sign up for the Millburn-Short Hills Townwide Summer Read 2020 Facebook page here and  here. Virtual discussion links will be posted on this site, fb pages, and the store social media. 

Any questions, please email here

"A balm for tongues bitten and comments swallowed...A bitingly humorous compendium of the absurd subtle racism of the American workplace." --Kirkus Reviews

"In this slim and witty volume, attorney Smyer collects an alphabetized short list of things not to say to African-Americans...Each entry is designed to strip away the hypocrisy and half-truths of these cultural exchanges by laughing at them. Smyer's hilarious sampler offers astute observations on race and culture." --Publishers Weekly

Greetings, well-intentioned person of pallor.

Your good intentions used to be enough. But in these diverse and divisive times, some people would hold you accountable for your actions. You were not raised for such unfairness. You need help. And help you now have.

Let Daquan--that black coworker you are referring to when you claim to have black friends--help you navigate perilous small talk with African Americans with this handy field guide. This portable bit of emotional labor puts at your fingertips a tabbed and alphabetized list of things not to say to black people. Finally!

How to use: Keep this handbook close. Whenever you are confronted with an African American and you feel compelled to blurt out an observation about her hair or to liken your Tesla lease to slavery, ask for a moment to consult this reference. She'll wait. If the keen insight you want to share is listed herein, You Can Keep That to Yourself. It truly is that easy!

Through oral histories and original interviews with surviving family members, Dan Goldberg brings 13 forgotten heroes away from the margins of history and into the spotlight. He reveals the opposition these men faced: the racist pseudo-science, the regular condescension, the repeated epithets, the verbal abuse and even violence. Despite these immense challenges, the Golden Thirteen persisted—understanding the power of integration, the opportunities for black Americans if they succeeded, and the consequences if they failed. Until 1942, black men in the Navy could hold jobs only as cleaners and cooks. The Navy reluctantly decided to select the first black men to undergo officer training in 1944, after enormous pressure from ordinary citizens and civil rights leaders. These men, segregated and sworn to secrecy, worked harder than they ever had in their lives and ultimately passed their exams with the highest average of any class in Navy history.

In March 1944, these sailors became officers, the first black men to wear the gold stripes. Yet even then, their fight wasn’t over: white men refused to salute them, refused to eat at their table, and refused to accept that black men could be superior to them in rank. Still, the Golden Thirteen persevered, determined to hold their heads high and set an example that would inspire generations to come.

In the vein of Hidden Figures, The Golden Thirteen reveals the contributions of heroes who were previously lost to history.


© 2017 by The Book House.

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