Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association chooses one or more books as a Common Read, asking congregations across the denomination to consider reading and discussing the same book in a given period of time. A Common Read can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations.

The 2020 Common Read 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.

UUC will hold an online discussion group this winter to discuss this book.  Check the UUC calendar for dates.


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Learn more about the UUA Common Read.