There's nothing like a good book and the African American Writers Book Discussion Group (AAWBDG) reads one each month. This club has been reading and discussing books written by black authors for more than 20 years. Membership is free and open to all adults (age 18 and older) with a passion for black literature. Just print a copy of AAWBDG's 2012 Reading List, buy the books and meet us at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Avenue. Books may be purchased at Above All Books and Gifts, 2607 SW 21st Street. Contact Vince Omni, 785-213-0138 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Act of Grace, Karen Simpson
7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, 2014
Why would Grace Johnson, a bright, African-American high school senior, save the life of a Ku Klux Klansman named Jonathan Gilmore? That question hovers over Grace's hometown of Vigilant, Michigan, and few people, black or white, understand her actions-especially since rumor has it that many years ago, a member of the Gilmore family murdered several African-American residents. And if Grace had her way, she would not reveal the circumstances that led her to make what some deem to be a foolish sacrifice and an act of treason against her race. The decision to remain silent, however, is not Grace's to make, for the spirit of her ancestors have emerged and insist, in ways Grace cannot ignore, that she bear witness to the violent racial history that continues to divide the town of Vigilant. But when Grace discovers a century-old tale of a bloodsoaked, eye-for-eye vengeance that includes the mysterious death of her own father, she questions whether she has the ability and the will to accept the mind-bending spiritual challenge in front of her. As Grace reluctantly embarks on the unlikeliest of journeys and into the magical world of the African-American traditions used by her ancestors to fight slavery and oppression, she undergoes a spiritual transformation that leads to the true nature of her calling: to lead Jonathan Gilmore, the town of Vigilant and her own soul on a path toward reconciliation, redemption and true grace.