Kalamazoo Public Library Announces 2017 Reading Together Title

Oct 12, 2016 09:07:37 AM

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Kalamazoo, MI –

Kalamazoo, MI – Tuesday, October 12, 2016. Kalamazoo Public Library is pleased to announce the title for Reading Together 2017: Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White by bestselling author, basketball legend, and cultural commentator – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar will visit Kalamazoo for a Meet the Author event at Miller Auditorium on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 7 pm.

2017 marks the 15th Anniversary of Reading Together. To commemorate this occasion, KPL wanted to choose a book that addresses important yet divisive issues facing not only our community but the whole country. Writings on the Wall came to the attention of the selection committee immediately upon its release in August and quickly became the obvious choice, not only for the breadth of its content but also for the notoriety of its author. Honed from his life experience both on and off the basketball court, observations and conversations in his everyday life, Abdul-Jabbar explores American politics, racism, religion, gender issues, classism, the news media and much more. Copies will be available for check out at all Kalamazoo Public Library locations beginning November 1.

The 2017 Reading Together program will feature Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaking about his book in an interview format, live, at Miller Auditorium on Tuesday, March 14, at 7 pm, followed by Q&A and book signing. Books will be sold at the event by local, independent bookstore, Michigan News Agency. This event is free and open to the public.

Throughout the month of March and into April, Reading Together will feature several programs that explore the concepts and themes presented in Abdul-Jabbar’s work, with an opportunity for engaging discussion and revelation. Information about the 2017 Reading Together program will be posted on readingtogether.us as dates and programs are confirmed.

The purpose of Reading Together is to build a stronger community with deeper connections through the common experience of reading the same book and exploring its themes together. When we do that, we engage and learn, not only about ourselves, but also more importantly about each other and the world around us.

By experiencing the same book, hearing the author of that work speak right here in Kalamazoo, and delving deeper into the books’ themes, we are able to embrace our similarities and differences from a common point of reference. Very simply, when we read together, we grow together.

About Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
Since retiring from professional basketball as the NBA's all-time leading scorer, six-time MVP, and Hall of Fame inductee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a lauded observer of culture and society, a New York Times bestselling author, and a regular contributor to The Washington Post, TIME magazine and TIME.com.

He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, his most incisive and important work of non-fiction in years. He uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts and authentic experience in essays on the country's seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide - both racial and political, parenthood, and his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim. The book is not just a collection of expositions; he also offers keen assessments of and solutions to problems such as racism in sports while speaking candidly about his experiences on the court and off.

Timed for publication as the nation debates whom to send to the White House, the combination of plain talk on issues, life lessons, and personal stories places Writings on the Wall squarely in the middle of the conversation, as many of Abdul-Jabbar's topics are at the top of the national agenda. Whether it is sparring with Donald Trump, within the pages of TIME magazine, or full-length features in the The New York TimesMagazine, writers, critics, and readers have come to agree on what The Washington Post observed: Abdul-Jabbar "has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice."

For more information, visit readingtogether.us.

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