Welcome to our second week’s discussion of…
The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
We read chapters 1-5 this week. What did you think? What do you hope to see happen? Start discussing in the comments below!
For week three of our Book Club, let’s read chapters 6-12 by Tuesday, April 13th.
Join us on Thursday, April 29th at 4:30pm EST for our discussion about the whole book over Zoom.
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I found that Britt Bennett’s writing style in “The Vanishing Half” was easy to follow and that time period represented in the novel realistically depicted the events of the eras portrayed. I also appreciated the character development and historically background of the setting throughout the first 6 chapters.
Many of the chapter themes can also be applicable to events occurring today. For example, the character Willie Lee stated at one point, “You gotta follow they rules but they change ‘em when they feel,” when he was described the behavior of white individuals in charge of those rules. For me, this is definitely reminiscent of the current movement to overhaul voting laws that would disenfranchise black and brown communities throughout many in the United States.
Moreover, as I read the first 6 chapters of this novel, it brought to mind “The Willie Lynch Letter & the Making of a Slave:” specifically the section that stated in excerpt, “…full proof method for controlling your black slaves…for at least 300 years…take the differences among the slaves…I use envy for control purposes…” In essence, one of the techniques used to control blacks in America, yesterday and today, was and is the exploitation of differing skin color, with preferential treatment granted to those of lighter hues.
By the end of this novel, I guess what I’m hoping for is that many of the characters finally recognize the beauty of their own skin, as well as the exquisiteness of the skin coloring of their darker toned brothers and sisters.
It seems the older I get and the more I witness, I see ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. Sometimes I feel that I and others are rolling a boulder uphill, we stop to catch our breaths, and then it slides back down. Yet we must ‘keep on keeping on’. We have no other choice.
I read this wonderful book last year. Like life, it’s both sad and hopeful at the same time.
I missed your announcement of this week’s Book
Club. I look lfordward to your next book so that I can join
Hi Arlene. There is still plenty of time to join us for this month’s discussion! Hope to see you there :)