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Opening Words from Sun. June 23 by Krystal White

Good morning! My name is Krystal White, my pronouns are she/her, and I define myself as a READER! I read more than 100 books a year – I’ve read more than 80 so far in 2019 – and this should give perspective when I share that Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, was the best book I have read in the last three years. Will you raise your hand if you’ve read Born a Crime before? Each of these folks will tell you – the book is thought-provoking, emotionally touching, and hilarious! The End Racism Team encourages everyone to pick it up and give it a try this summer so that we all can discuss it together in August and September.

And when I say everyone should read it, I do, in fact, mean everyone should read it. Trevor Noah has released a youth version of the book – the same stories and experiences, but with no cursing – so children in late elementary school or older can participate in our One Book, One Ethical Society initiative. You may have “no time” for reading books. That’s fine! Pick up the audiobook! Noah reads it himself and it’s so popular that it has topped the Amazon Audible charts for the past 110 weeks. This book is worth your time.

In it, Trevor Noah explains what it was like for him to grow up in apartheid South Africa as a mixed-race child, to be the beloved son of an amazingly strong-willed Xhosa woman, to navigate a world of poverty, religion, abuse, and racial divide, and to figure out who he was as a person in a world where it was literally against the law for him to exist.

Now, you may be sitting out there thinking, “wait a minute! Didn’t the End Racism Team pick LAST year’s One Book?” The answer to that is, yes, yes, we did. If you would like to organize next year’s One Book, then come talk to us. One Book is not permanently tied to the End Racism Team and we’d happily share time and space for other groups to take the lead. You may also be thinking, “wait a minute! There’s an End Racism TEAM?” Yes, yes, there is. We organize forums and speakers and vigils; additionally, we are currently working with the Equal Justice Initiative to learn more about the lynching history of Saint Louis. If that piques your interest, come talk with us too! The End Racism team meets every fourth Sunday in the Butterfly Room at 10 AM.

I look forward to talking with you all about Born a Crime later this summer.

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.