Picking a new Common Read


Jillian King, Correspondent

FYE’s newest Community Read meant for reading, not fire kindling

The first year experience committee was tasked with finding a Community Read that discusses equality and inclusion following the 2019 book burning. Georgia Southern’s newest batch of students will read Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.

 “[Born a Crime will] give excellent starting points for real conversations,” Dustin Anderson, interim associate provost for student success, said. 

The book has been critically acclaimed since its publication, receiving two awards from the NAACP in 2017.

Anderson said he is excited for students to read Noah’s autobiography. Anderson described his writing as “very strong and human.” His book covers topics that many students are likely to relate to, varying from immigration, family matters and being split between communities.

In recent years the GS’ community read has caught some attention after a group of students burned their copies outside of Eagle Village and got national attention in 2019.

“What happened was that it was absurd,” Anderson said. “The incident itself as well as the wide press coverage affected many students, especially students of color.” 

Anderson went on to say that they haven’t changed the topics of discussion, but more the environment in which these topics are brought up. Georgia Southern’s values are one of the first things discussed in first-year seminar classes openly discussed in a way that helps students of varying backgrounds learn and say what they need.

Discourse has become more intentional in FYE and more empathetic and caring to students of all backgrounds. Anderson said there is still work to be done, but that improvements have been made since 2019.