2017 AND 2018 Common Reading Program
The Common Reading Program is an opportunity for new students to engage in an academic experience with the PLU community. During New Student Orientation, incoming students will meet with a faculty member, a New Student Orientation Guide, and their peers to discuss the Common Reading book and learn strategies for academic success at PLU. The 2017 Common Reading book is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The text draws from an autobiographical account of Coates’s youth, and it is written in the form of a raw, emotional and at times poignant letter to his teenaged son. Between the World and Me depicts the feeling, symbolism and violent reality of being black in America. Deeply inspired by James Baldwin, Coates details the ways in which he experiences institutional racism from schools, the police and even “the streets”. Unlike Baldwin, however, Coates views white supremacy as an indestructible force that black Americans cannot evade or erase but will continue to struggle against.