Discussion Questions for April 4th

Discussion Questions for Becoming by Michelle Obama

Click Here for a printable version

1.     In this book series with Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”, we will be discussing the ways race has affected and influenced the author’s life. Name an instance (in which race was involved) that stood out to you in this life story. Why did this stand out to you? Why do you feel the author felt the need to share this memory?

2.     In chapters 1-3 the author talks about the “white flight” that occurred in her childhood neighborhood. The author also shares two school photos that visibly show the product of “white flight” in a very powerful way (page 2 of photo inserts). How do you think this type of change affected the residents and businesses that stay behind? Those who leave? Have you experienced or witnessed something similar in your lifetime?

 3.     In chapter 7, the author describes her experience attending Princeton University, which at the time was made up of less than 9 percent black students. She describes the struggles she felt at the time while also sharing a situation with her white roommate that she learned about later in life. How do you feel these experiences shaped her and prepared her for the next chapters of her life? How do you think she might have been affected if she had learned about her roommate while in university, instead of later in life? Do you have a similar experience that you would like to share?

 4.     Open Discussion

Discussion Questions for February 21st

Discussion Questions for “Why Seeing Yourself on Screen Is So Important” by Kimberly Lawson

You can CLICK HERE for printable version

1. In the article “Why Seeing Yourself Represented on Screen is So Important” by Kimberly Lawson, the author cites several studies and powerful statements about representation. Which viewpoint or fact stood out to you the most and why?

2. In this article, the author discusses BOTH the importance of representation from the point of view of minorities, AND the educational impact on audiences. Why is it so important that this educational impact support positive representation?

3. Looking back through your life, which film or TV show made you feel represented when you watched it? Which made you most excited for another group to be represented? Why?

4. Open discussion

 

Discussion Questions for February 7th

Discussion questions for Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

You can CLICK HERE for a printable version

1. In the prologue, the general manager of a posh London hotel would not let Eleanor, Felicity, Alexandra, and their families stay at the hotel. What do you think of this opening? This happened in the 1980’s; were you surprised by the racial implications?

 2. Does Nick’s description - “It’s like any big family. I have loudmouth uncles, eccentric aunts, obnoxious cousins, the whole nine yards” (p.67) - match how you view your own family? Does this description cross economic and cultural lines?

 3. This year’s Golden Globes nominated two films that were good examples of representation, “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Black Panther” for Best Motion Picture in their categories. Which of these two do you think were a better example of representation and why? How do you feel they differ?

 4. In honor of Black History Month, Disney has announced that for the first 7 days of February, Black Panther will be shown for free at AMC theaters. Disney has also donated $1.5M to the United Negro College Fund. What do you think of this type of support/public relations/marketing?

 5. Looking back through your lifetime, which film or TV show made you feel represented when you watched it? Which made you most excited for another group to be represented? Why?

Discussion Questions for January 17th

Discussion Questions for Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

You can CLICK HERE for a printable copy

1. Who has had an opportunity to read the book? Watch the movie? What did you like most? What did you like least?

2. “Crazy Rich Asians” is the first Hollywood studio feature set entirely in the present with an all-Asian/Asian American cast. Why is this notable? Why does representation matter in movies, on television, and in books?

3.  How do you feel about the author’s use of book footnotes? Did they enhance your understanding of the story and the culture portrayed?

4. The author uses several different points of view to tell the story. Which point of view did you connect with the most? Were you able to relate to any of the characters? The families? Why or why not?

5. In the prologue, the general manager of a posh London hotel would not let Eleanor, Felicity, Alexandra, and their families stay at the hotel. What do you think of this opening? This happened in the 1980’s; were you surprised by the racial implications?

6. Does Nick’s description - “It’s like any big family. I have loudmouth uncles, eccentric aunts, obnoxious cousins, the whole nine yards” (p.67) - match the way most of us view our own families? Does this description cross economic and cultural lines?

7. What does Rachel’s view of Asian men reveal about the complications of growing up Asian in America? (p. 90)

Discussion Questions for November 15th

Discussion Questions for So You Want To Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo

  • You can also Click Here for a printable copy for taking notes as you read your book selection!

  • What feelings did this book evoke in you?

  • What new thing did you learn from this book?

  • What gaps did you wish the author had filled in?

  • Did the book change your perspective about anything?

  • What was your favorite chapter? Why?

  • If you were to guess a formative experience in the author’s life based on what she has written in this book, what would you guess?

  • Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?

  • What did you think of the author’s writing style?

  • If you could add one more chapter, what would be the topic you would want to see?

  • If you got to ask the author one question, what would it be?

Discussion Questions for Thursday November 1st

Discussion questions for “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo

You can also Click Here for a printable copy for taking notes as you read your book selection!

  • What did you like most about this book?

  • What did you like least about this book?

  • What do you think of the title and book cover?

  • Some people think that the first sentence of a book is the most important. What do you think of the first sentence of this book?

  • Share your favorite quote from the book. Why did this quote stand out to you?

  • What feelings did this book evoke in you?

  • What aspects of the author's story did you relate to?

  • What new thing did you learn from this book?

  • What gaps did you wish the author had filled in?

  • Did the book change your perspective about anything?

  • What was your favorite chapter? Why?

  • If you were to guess a formative experience in the author’s life based on what she has written in this book, what would you guess?

  • Would you recommend this book? Why or why not?

  • What did you think of the author’s writing style?

  • If you could add one more chapter, what would be the topic you would want to see?

  • If you got to ask the author one question, what would it be?