This year’s UUA Common Read, Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry, is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this church year. The New York Times calls Breathe “an elixir of history, ancestry and compassion, which, together, become instruction…a parent’s unflinching demand, born of inherited trauma and love, for her children’s right simply to be possible.”
According to the UUA Common Read webpage, “Breathe offers a broad meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived as well as an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience. Congregations, groups, and individuals may purchase this book in hardcover from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop; group discount available. The e-book and audio book (CD or MP3) are available from Bookshop.org.”
As our President, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, has written, “It matters that we support the uprisings whose goal is the liberation of Black people and communities who for too long have been crushed by white supremacy, militarism, and capitalism. We must find the sources within ourselves to give us courage in this moment.” The selection of Breathe as the 2020-21 Common Read aims to nurture this necessary courage.
Discussion materials (PDF, 53 pages) for this Common Read offer two plans: one for use by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) UU group, the other for any congregational group. Both plans invite groups to choose a one- or three-session program.
Read more about this this year’s UUA Common Read, as well as the selections for previous years.