New Let’s Talk About It group in Belfast

Aug 31, 2017
Hayden Anderson

Belfast — Belfast Free Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer another Let’s Talk About It free reading and discussion group, with copies of books available at the library. This program is provided by the Maine Humanities Council’s Maine Center for the Book in cooperation with the Maine State Library.

The Race and Justice in America series will begin Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the library, 106 High St., and continue for four sessions throughout the fall, concluding Dec. 5.

The first book to be read and discussed is “Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched A Hundred Years of Federalism” by Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips. Other books to be discussed in the series are: Oct. 17, “The Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age” by Kevin Boyle; Nov. 7, “Just Mercy - A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson; and Dec. 5, “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race” by Jesmyn Ward.

The series seeks to encourage a discourse on the complex and often uneasy relationship between Americans citizens and the American system of justice. The hope is that participants will gain new insights on the ways that institutionalized racism and individual biases often manifest themselves in ways that deny some American citizens (mostly black and brown people, who also make up the vast majority of the poor in this country) their constitutional right to equal protection and equal treatment under the laws.

The series will demonstrate that race has been a defining feature of the American democratic experience and that the ideology of white supremacy is still deeply embedded within the American system of justice today. As such, it challenges the notions of this being a “post racial” society and that the American system of justice is both impartial and “colorblind.”

The series will be facilitated by Hayden Anderson, executive director of the Maine Humanities Council. Prior to his work at the MHC, Hayden was the interim executive director at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland.

Books for this series are available for loan at the library. Pre-registration is required to ensure that enough copies of the books are available; stop by the main circulation desk or call the library at 338-3884, ext. 10, to register.

For more information about Let’s Talk About It and the work of the Maine Humanities Council, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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