Between the World and Me book cover

2021-2022 Common Read: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Purpose: In keeping with BCC’s mission and equity statement, the purpose of the common reading of Between the World and Me is to promote a campus environment that advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  1. Engage students, faculty, administration, staff and community in discussion of topics and questions of equity and social justice through a shared reading;
  2. Give students a positive reading experience by sharing the content of the reading through activities both inside and outside the classroom, thus helping students make connections between classroom and out-of-classroom experiences;
  3. Encourage campus-wide dialog and interdisciplinary explorations of topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the academic year by a variety of activities.

Between the World and Me is a widely acclaimed non-fiction work by Ta-Nehisi Coates published in 2015. It is his story of growing up on the streets of West Baltimore and struggles he overcame to become one of America’s most gifted writers and public intellectuals. The book is written as a letter to his son, but it is addressed to the nation as he talks honestly and unapologetically about race relations in the U. S. A former national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates’s writing is eloquent, rich, provocative and reflective. His narrative touches on many themes–among them race, privilege, education, parenting, history, coming of age, policing, and the American Dream.

The committee working on the project is interdisciplinary and includes faculty and staff.

Common Read Committee
Lou Ethel Roliston, English
Carol Miele, ESL
Gemma Figaro, ESL
Maureen Ellis-Davis, Sociology
Sara Mastellone, Developmental Math
Cristina Haedo, Counseling Services
Ilene Kleinman, Curriculum
Luis de Abreu, STEM
Amarjit Kaur, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Tonya McCoy, Institutional Research
Madeline Trimble, Institutional Research
Deborah Manning, Adjunct Administration, Sociology
Gregory Fenkart, Student Affairs
Eileen Fitzgerald, English Basic Skills, Criminal Justice Grant
Seamus Gibbons, Comp/Lit, Judith Winn School of Honors
Jessica Datema, Comp/Lit, Literary Arts Series
Iris Bucchino, English Basic Skills, IST
Elizabeth Marsh, English Basic Skills
Richard Kuiters, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Grant
Kevin Olbrys, Philosophy and Religion
Keith Chu, History
Tim Blunk, Bergen Gallery, Art
Francis Schmidt, Art
Daniel Sheehan, Music
Jim Bumgardner, Performing Arts
Joan Dalrymple, Library, Faculty Development
Kate Hossain, Library
Tracy Rand, Office of Special Services
Ellen Feig, Comp/Lit, Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
Sarah Shurts, History, Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
Kil Yi, History, Institute of Multicultural Learning
Mi Ah, Psychology, Institute of Multicultural Learning
Jacqueline Behn, Social Sciences


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