#b#Racial Literacy#/b#

Surely Michele Alperin’s superb October 19 cover story on Ruha Benjamin helped to enhance your readers’ awareness of the value of racial literacy. Benjamin’s first lecture drew an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at the Princeton Public Library, and on October 25 she facilitated the discussion at the Garden Theater’s screening of the three-part documentary “Race, the Power of an Illusion.”

Racial literacy is a much-needed, often neglected skill that — in the 21st century — we all need to live and work successfully in a diversifying society. Conversations about race are not easy to have. But as Benjamin said in her lecture, “Racism doesn’t belong to few bad apples; it is coded in our psyches and institutions. Pretending we don’t see it is not a cure.”

The five-part racial literacy series is cosponsored by Not in Our Town Princeton, Princeton Public Library, and the Garden Theater. It continues with Benjamin’s second lecture at the library on Tuesday, November 1, and film screenings on Monday, November 7, and Tuesday, November 15, all at 6:30 p.m. In the coming months, Not in Our Town Princeton will continue to hold “Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege” on first Mondays at 7 p.m. at the library. For details go to niotprinceton.org.

As quoted in Alperin’s article, Benjamin aims to help people put on a new pair of spectacles and see that “what I’ve learned about this is actually wrong.” Who among us does not need new lenses?

Ted Fetter, Shelley Krause, Simona L. Brickers, Joyce Trotman-Jordan

Board members, Not in Our Town Princeton

#b#Book Sale Success#/b#

The Friends of Princeton Public Library held their annual book sale October 14 to 16 — the culmination of months of work by dedicated volunteers and generous donations of library supporters.

We would like to thank the staff at the library, whose knowledge and commitment were crucial. We are especially thankful to the development department and buildings department for their assistance, and to the Teen Advisory Board for their involvement. We would also like to acknowledge the generous support of our friends at Princeton Public Schools, the Arts Council of Princeton, Corner House, Princeton University, McCaffreys, and Witherspoon Grill.

The large team of volunteers made this event an absolute pleasure for all involved, from the youngest child picking out a book for the first time, to the knowledgeable collector searching for a special find. Thanks to our generous Princeton community whose support once again increased the amount raised for the library. Even more heartwarming was the sight of residents heading home with bags full of treasures and smiles.

Seva Kramer, Claire Bertrand

Book Sale Co-Chairs

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