The Prince George's Community College Book Bridge Project was started in 2005 under the direction of Dr. Mary Brown. The major purpose of the Book Bridge Project is to bring Prince George’s County residents and the college community together in a shared learning experience about contemporary issues through literature by:
- Promoting lively dialogue, critical thinking, and writing about literature;
- Fostering greater understanding of others’ views and perspectives on local issues, and bridging the communication gaps that often exist in a diverse community;
- Inspiring and encouraging faculty to develop text-related interdisciplinary approaches and educational materials that improve course offerings across the curriculum;
- Improving the retention of students by engaging them in interdisciplinary approaches to education, by offering them co-curricular activities, and by providing them greater contact with faculty;
- Enhancing the articulation between the college and public schools, local businesses, libraries, churches, and other institutions;
- Achieving long-term benefits that include enhanced professional development as a function of reading, writing, thinking about, and discussing vital social issues; the development of student services programs that support instructional areas; improved communication between local governmental entities, businesses, churches, and schools; and increased community support of the college and its activities.
"Between the World and Me," by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2016–2017)
"That Thing Around Your Neck," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2015–2016)
"For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough," by Keith Boykin (2014–2015)
"The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks," by Jeanne Theoharris (2013–2014)
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by Rebecca Skloot (2012–2013)
2017–2018 Academic Year: "A Wrinkle in Time"
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. "Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. "A Wrinkle in Time," winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.
The motion picture, directed by Ava Duvernay (Selma) and starring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon is due out March 9, 2018.
2016–2017 Academic Year: "Between the World and Me"
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men — bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
"Between the World and Me" is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, re-imagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, "Between the World and Me" clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
2015–2016 Academic Year: "The Thing Around Your Neck"
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, "Purple Hibiscus," which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore Sun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe). The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winning "Half of a Yellow Sun" became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts — graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts — on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.
In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to re-examine them.
Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. "The Thing Around Your Neck" is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.
2014–2015 Academic Year: "For Colored Boys"
In 1974, playwright Ntozake Shange published "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf." The book would go on to inspire legions of women for decades and would later become the subject and title of a hugely popular movie in the fall of 2010. While the film was selling out movie theaters, young black gay men were committing suicide in the silence of their own communities. When a young Rutgers University student named Tyler Clementi took his own life after a roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate setting with another young man, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire young people facing harassment. Their message, "It Gets Better," turned into a popular movement, inspiring thousands of user-created videos on the internet. Savage's project targeted people of all races, backgrounds, and colors.
Keith Boykin has created something special for colored boys. The new book, "For Colored Boys," addresses long-standing issues of sexual abuse, suicide, HIV/AIDS, racism, and homophobia in the African American and Latino communities, and more specifically among young gay men of color. The book tells stories of real people coming of age, coming out, dealing with religion and spirituality, seeking love and relationships, finding their own identity in or out of the LGBT community, and creating their own sense of political empowerment. "For Colored Boys" is designed to educate and inspire those seeking to overcome their own obstacles in their own lives.
2013–2014 Academic Year: "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks"
The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement. Presenting a corrective to the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement, Jeanne Theoharis provides a revealing window into Parks's politics and years of activism. She shows readers how this civil rights movement radical sought — for more than a half a century — to expose and eradicate the American racial-caste system in jobs, schools, public services, and criminal justice.
2012–2013 Academic Year: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells — taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.
Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times best-seller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.
Ms. Risikat I. Okedeyi, Director
Book Bridge Project
Marlboro Hall, Room 3063
301 Largo Rd.
Largo, MD 20774