On Wednesday Nov. 8, two Homer Babbidge librarians compiled several texts into The Diversity Bookshelf: The Story of Race in Books. This display was part of the university’s “Metanoia,” or day of reflection, on the theme “Together: Confronting Racism.”
The bookshelf itself hosted a variety of books concerning race and racism for reading or just browsing. There was also an accompanying digital presentation featuring some key novels that were heavily influenced by such topics.
Kelly Webb, a first-semester biology major, said the display is helpful to introduce students to other nationalities and their experiences.
“It’s beneficial to have books about different races to open people’s eyes against prejudice. I saw people who appeared to be of many races, such as of Asian descent, getting books,” Webb said. “It’s cool that people of different races get to learn more about each other.”
Amanda Blazka, fifth-semester human development and family studies major said it’s important UConn facilitated a day dedicated to facing racism.
“Events like this that work toward spreading awareness of one’s surroundings and of other people’s experiences are very important,” Blazka said. “It’s great that the university is setting aside a day for people to attempt to become more knowledgeable and therefore more tolerant of each other.”
Many books, such as “The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Decisions” by William G Bowen and Derek Bok directly addressed race. In some books like “The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America” by Andrés Reséndez, culture was a main element of the story.
This display was a great way to promote education of racial topics and, therefore, a crucial step toward acceptance of people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
Veronica Eskander is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.