September 2021: GROW Newsletter
Educational opportunities to promote anti-racism literacy brought to you by the G.R.O.W. Team (Gather, Reflect, & Offer Wisdom), a subcommittee of the Committee on Anti-Racism & Equity (CARE)
We are pleased to report that Session has unanimously voted to make the
Anti-Racism & Equity Task Force a standing committee. 
It will henceforth be known as Committee on Anti-Racism and Equity (C.A.R.E.) 
This month we are featuring:
  • All-Church Summer Book Read Discussions on The Color of Compromise.
  • A book recommendation from Mary Kovatch
  • A podcast recommendation from Dan Brame
Upcoming Book Study Meetings for The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

The next meeting for the First Pres book study of The Color of Compromise will take place next Wednesday, September 8, from 7-8:30 pm in the Social Hall. We'll discuss Chapters 9-Conclusion. (No sweat if you haven't quite finished that set of chapters!)
Decaf coffee, hot water for tea, lemonade, and ice water will be available. All are welcome to attend whether or not you were able to come to the July or August meetings. Join us!
The final opportunity to discuss this powerful book with your church family will be Sunday, September 26 at 4 pm in the Social Hall. This will be an opportunity to meet fellow readers to discuss and reflect on the book as a whole and challenge each other on what we have learned. 
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Ryan or the church office 847-362-2174.
Book Review-- Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob (2018)

I loved this thoughtful, thought-provoking (and at times hilarious) look at societal issues. This is my first time reading a graphic memoir, and it JUST WORKS! Mira Jacob writes from personal experience. She is U.S. born, but her arranged-marriage parents are immigrants from India and Mira marries a white, Jewish man. Her very curious 6-year-old son, Z, adds an innocent element as he asks difficult questions about race. By juxtaposing her parental conversations with her lived experience, you will experience the tension of living in a country with hope for a better future, and frustration with racial inequities that haven't changed and in some ways have regressed.
Reviewed by Mary Kovatch, Member of FPC Staff
Podcast Review-- The Vanishing of Harry Pace, Radiolab
This 6-part series by the Radiolab team explores the fascinating story of pioneering African-American music label founder, Harry Pace. His life story could fill several volumes, as he "launched the career of Ethel Waters, inadvertently invented the term rock n roll, played an important role in W.C. Handy becoming 'Father of the Blues,' inspired Ebony and Jet magazines, and helped desegregate the South Side of Chicago in an epic Supreme Court battle.”
The first two episodes detail his amazing story, diving deep into the history of early American record companies and how musical genres were marketed differently to black and white audiences. Harry Pace's unlikely rise as founder of Black Swan Records will bring to mind the story of Berry Gordy, Jr. and his Motown Records in the 1960s. Pace then became a lawyer, worked with WEB Du Bois, and was involved in several high-level court cases in an attempt to desegregate the South Side of Chicago.
From there, the story becomes more mysterious as we meet Pace’s grandchildren who never knew about his achievements, but even more surprising, that their family was African-American. It seems that later in his life, Harry Pace and his family began to “pass” as white. The producers explore the possible reasons for this change in his self-identity, tying it in to the civil rights movement and the politics of the era.
Three bonus episodes dive deeper into blues singer Ethel Waters, lyric tenor Roland Hayes, and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem.

Reviewed by Dan Brame, Member of the CARE Committee, ACT Team