Book Club

About Book Club

The Integrated Schools Book Club is a way for people from across the country to come together and discuss books, articles, videos, and podcasts pertaining to school integration. While the conversations are geared for parents, everyone is welcome.

We meet via video-conference and keep the sessions small so that everyone has a chance to talk — this is not a webinar!  There is no cost to attend — you need only internet access at the time of the meeting (and if you don’t have access to a computer with a camera, no worries).

 How Book Club Works

  • Register using the links on this page (you’ll be emailed a confirmation with simple instructions for how to log in to the video conference)
  • Invite your friends! Post on your social media!
  • Get ahold of the book/ readings/ podcast/ videos
  • Read/ Listen/ View (do your homework)
  • Join the video-conference discussion at the scheduled time and talk!

Join us in the fall for the next Integrated Schools Book Club discussion!

We are reading Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

About the book:

Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate.

Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people–including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others–she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. 

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

Register to join in the discussion by clicking the date/time that works for you:

Tuesday, September 28th 5pm PT / 8pm ET

Thursday, September 30th 9am PT / 12pm ET

Saturday, October 2nd 9am PT / 12pm ET

Tuesday, October 5th 8pm PT / 11pm ET

Please check out our new affiliate page on Bookshop.org. You can buy this book club pick and also see some of our past book club picks. If you go through our affiliate page to buy this or any other book, not only will you be supporting a local, independent book store, but a portion of the proceeds will also come back to Integrated Schools.

Check out our previous Book Clubs to see what else we’ve been reading!