Our book club is a bi-monthly small group discussion series where we collectively examine the new ideas and real-world applications of our nonfiction read. It is open for anyone to join, for as many or as few sessions as desired.
These are 1.5-2 hour moderated conversations with a maximum of 10 participants per session.
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Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
By Marcia Chatelain
From the publisher: After Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination in 1968, many activists turned to entrepreneurship as the means to achieving equality. Civil rights leaders, fast food companies, black capitalists, celebrities, and federal bureaucrats began an unlikely collaboration, in the belief that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could improve the quality of black life.
Taking us from the first McDonald’s drive-in in San Bernardino in the 1940s to civil rights protests at franchises in the American South in the 1960s and the McDonald’s on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson in the summer 2014, Chatelain charts how the fight for racial justice is intertwined with the fate of black businesses. Deeply researched and brilliantly told, Franchise is an essential story of race and capitalism in America.
Last Month's Reading
How to Kill A City
By P.E. Moskowitz
One of the questions raised in our discussion:
The term “gentrification” itself is often disputed. Moskowitz puts forth that “gentrification, at its deepest level, is really about reorienting the purpose of cities away from being spaces that provide for the poor and middle classes and towards being spaces that generate capital for the rich...an urban form of new capitalism.” (22-23).
Given the case studies of the book, do you agree with this central hypothesis? How has it (if it has) changed or shaped your understanding of gentrification?
What do you believe the purpose of a city should be?
More Past Readings
Ants Among Elephants
By Sujatha Gidla
Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation
By David L. Eng &
Edited by Alice Wong
The Color of Law
By Richard Rothstein
Looking to download past discussion guides?
We offer synopses and discussion guides for all of our past Book Club reads for free. Simply enter your email address and we’ll send the download link straight to your inbox. If you do use one of our moderator guides, we ask you please credit us for our work and consider supporting us with a donation.
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