Reading opens up frank discussion


January 11th, 2011

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Omaha, NE – Omaha Table Talk invites the community to address issues of race relations and diversity through reading this week.  Starting Thursday, Jan. 13, the group will host a book discussion about the Southern novel, The Help.

Omaha Table Talk will open a discussion about race relations, guided by the Southern, best-selling novel, The Help

The Help is a novel written by Kathryn Stockett, a white woman, who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi.  In the book, she writes about the experience of black maids working in white homes in the South during the 1960’s.  Omaha Table Talk will host a book discussion about the book later this week.  Ajamal Byndon, executive director of the group, said Omaha Table Talk provides open discussions on difficult issues, like race relations and diversity, and the medium of a book discussion can be helpful.

“We need to continue to brighten our horizons and read,” he said, “because obviously many… public and private entities and institutions don’t spend as much time on race and discussions on diversity as they should. So we’re hoping that this will galvanize and help promulgate more people starting to read books written about and by people of color and start to use it as a subject base.”

Byndon is a native of Omaha, and after reading The Help, he said he’s more empathetic toward people who grew up in the South during the 1960’s.

“I think what it has helped me to understand is that people sometimes can see other people’s experiences in very in depth way. So it’s kind of an awakening, not only in myself, but in other people… sometimes we know more about other people in groups than we sometimes purport to let on.”

The book discussion starts Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6pm at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Collaborating Center.

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