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Suggested Readings, Movies, and Activities


“Wonder” is based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER, and tells the story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie's extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

“Marshall” Starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell. Director Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall, is based on an early trial in the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. It follows the young lawyer (Chadwick Boseman) to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) charged with sexual assault and attempted murder of his white socialite employer (Kate Hudson). Muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall partners with a courageous young Jewish lawyer, Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad). Together they mount the defense in an environment of racism and Anti-Semitism. The high profile case and the partnership with Friedman served as a template for Marshall’s creation of the NAACP legal defense fund.

“The Big Sick” is based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents.

“Whose Streets?” is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement.

“Detroit”; Amidst the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion, with the city under curfew and as the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets, three young African American men were murdered at the Algiers Motel.

“Loving” Virginia native Richard Loving committed what many considered to be an extremely radical act to prove his devotion to Mildred Jeter in 1958.  He married her.  See their true love story in theaters now. 

“Hidden Figures”: This movie depicts the story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American math genius who helped put men on the Moon.  Johnson, who is portrayed on screen by Taraji P. Henson, is still alive and will be celebrating her 98th birthday this month. She displayed brilliance in mathematics at a young age and after starting out as a teacher she went to work at NACA, the precursor to NASA, in 1953. She calculated the trajectory of the Apollo 11 mission and in decades since has worked on the Space Shuttle program and even the current plans to go to Mars.

STLCC Diversity and Inclusion Book Club:

“Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance

“Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other Suggested Books:

“Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson

“Becoming Nicole” by Amy Ellis Nutt

“The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West” by Peter Cozzens

“No House to Call My Home: Love, Family, and Other Transgressions” by Ryan Berg

“The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson

“White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson. A look into how whiteness functions in American life and how the legacy of structural racism has brought about white anger and resentment.

“Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria” by Beverly Daniel Tatum

“The Fire This Time: A New Generation Talks about Race” by Jesmyn Ward

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead