We offer these suggested readings based upon the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual Common Read program. A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. A Common Read can build community in our congregation by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations.

2020-21 UUA Common Read

Book Jacket of "Breathe - A Letter to My Sons"

This year’s Common Read Selection is Breathe – A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry.

Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues a challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love—finding beauty and possibility in life—and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition. The New York Times calls Breathe “an elixir of history, ancestry and compassion, which, together, become instruction…a parent’s unflinching demand, born of inherited trauma and love, for her children’s right simply to be possible.”

Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.

Previous Common Reads

2019-20: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Also, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese.

2018-19: Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom.

2017-18:  Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema. Also Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen.

2016-17:  The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

2015-16:  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

2014-15:  Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square  by Paul Rasor.

2013-14:  Behind the Kitchen Door by Saru Jayarama.

2012-13:  The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

2011-12:  Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel.

2010-11:  The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from Arizona’s Borderlands by Margaret Regan.

More In Our Church Library

Check out our church library for these and other justice-focused books and DVDs. View our library catalog.