BRONX BOOK CLUB BUILDS A CULTURE OF READING AND PRESENTS A SPACE TO DISCUSS SOCIAL ISSUES
January 15, 2019 – Recently, the Literary Freedom Project has successfully relaunched One Book One Bronx —weekly discussions that invite readers to come together to discuss relevant books by Black and Latino writers. This new style book club, which is open to the public, hosts restorative conversations related to gentrification, social justice, women’s empowerment, criminal justice, and racial inequality. Reading selections reflect the racial, economic, and gender demographics of the borough and build bridges to engagement while (re)sparking a love of literature.
These intergenerational sessions build on narratives created by writers who are dedicated to presenting an inclusive American experience through fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, and more. The first 25 book club attendees receive a free copy of the reading selection. One Book One Bronx averages 40 attendees per book club and has distributed over 200 free books.
Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler
January 17, 24, 31, February 7, & 14, 2019
Location: Bronx Library Center/NYPL (310 E. Kingsbridge Rd)
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
March 5, 13, 20, 27, & April 2, 2019
Location: BronxArtSpace (305 E. 140th St)
December 2018: If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin at the Bronx Library Center/NYPL
November 2018: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde at BronxArtSpace
October 2018: Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quinonez at the Bronx Native shop (137 Lincoln Ave.), in partnership with BX Writers
September 2018: I Love My Hair by Natasha Tarpley 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Bronx Library Center/NYPL
One Book One Bronx has disseminated over 200 free books to local readers. The program is fashioned after the traditional “One Book One City” model that was initiated in Seattle.
The Literary Freedom Project presents One Book One Bronx. LFP is a Bronx-based nonprofit arts organization that 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 immersive reading –academic, vocational, and pleasure. LFP also presents the Mosaic Literary Conference, develops lesson plans and workshops connecting literature to social issues, and publishes Mosaic.
LFP’s executive director is Ron Kavanaugh. A lifelong Bronx resident, he has worked for the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Council on the Arts, and Bronx River Arts Center; and serves on the board of En Foco. He launched the book club in 2017 with the hope is reconnecting his community to books and culture.