Tatia Harris to Lead Discussion at Books Sandwiched In Series Feb. 22

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Tatia Harris to Lead Discussion at Books Sandwiched In Series Feb. 22

Posted: 02/10/2017
Knox County Public Library, in honor of Black History Month and in partnership with The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, invites the public to join Tatia Harris for a discussion of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs, at noon on Wednesday, February 22, in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium. A light lunch will be available for the first 30 attendees. This program is the second Books Sandwiched In series to focus on diversity. Books Sandwiched In is sponsored by the Friends of Knox County Public Library.

"This book is an important read that offers insight into colliding worlds—poverty and race versus Ivy League privilege—and asks ‘Is our society really set-up to help people transform their lives and transcend the circumstances into which they are born?’" Harris said. "I hope that this powerful story inspires some thought-provoking dialogue and hard self-examinations on the road to equality and social justice."

Author Jeff Hobbs tells the story of his Yale University roommate Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was brilliant and such a successful student that an alumnus from his high school volunteered to fund his expenses to any college, and Robert chose Yale. He studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics and continued to excel. Life was supposed to get easier, but Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, trying to fit in at Yale, at home on breaks and at home after graduation.
 
Tatia Harris is the Title VI Coordinator and Grant Manager for the City of Knoxville’s Tennessee Community Crime Reduction Program (TCCRP), a project funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs, and supported by awards from the U.S. Department of Justice. She served as the City’s Public Affairs Specialist for three years prior to joining the Community Relations Department. Harris is active in the community and has a passion for service and investing in opportunities for young people to succeed spiritually, personally and professionally.
 
Spring Schedule: 
• March 29, Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay; facilitated by Rebecca Klenk, University of Tennessee Department of Anthropology 
• April 26, Why? Explaining the Holocaust by Peter Hayes; facilitated by Daniel H. Magilow, University of Tennessee Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures 

The series includes a book discussion of Kindred by Octavia Butler, the evening of Tuesday, March 28, led by Dr. Michelle Commander, UT Department of English and Africana Studies Program. Copies of all featured books will be available at Knox County Public Library.