NEW IBERIA, La. --- The Iberia African American Historical Society invites the public to join their first book club discussion of 2021.
Participation in the book club is free and open to all, though they do ask that participants sign up here
to stay up-to-date on book club information, such as upcoming selections and topics, discussion dates, questions submissions, and other details. Copies of book selections are available at local libraries, booksellers, and online, or can be borrowed from a friend.
About the Book (courtesy of Penguin Random House)
In Caste, Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.
Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day.
She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics.
Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
About the Author
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval.
Through her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts. Through her lectures, she explores with authority the need to reconcile America’s karmic inheritance and the origins of both our divisions and our shared commonality.
She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a daughter of the Great Migration, the mass movement that she would go on to write about. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. She then devoted 15 years and interviewed more than 1,200 people to tell the story of the six million people, among them her parents, who defected from the Jim Crow South.
About The Iberia African American Historical Society
The mission of The Iberia African American Historical Society is to foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the long, rich, and unique history of African Americans in Iberia Parish; and also, by example and through programs and activities, to encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical materials related to the history of African Americans in Iberia Parish. The IAAHS is a not-for-profit organization that funds special programs and events through donations. For more information, visit IAAHS.org
For more information, contact Jayd Buteaux at (337) 369-6446 or by email