The new UUA Common Read book for the year is The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and I, for one, could not be happier with the choice. I read this book and preached on it last year after reading a Leonard Pitts article about the book. The book was revelatory, even for someone who thought she was pretty liberal on this issue. Two other people who I encouraged to read the book have had the same response. I was so pleased to have the opportunity to hear her speak this year at General Assembly, and the experience in the room was electric. She didn't have to say it out loud, even, but the thought that the New Jim Crow applies to the immigration system as well was surely at the front of everyone's mind. I'm looking forward to the Discussion Guide that the UUA will put online in October. There is a discussion guide written by a UU, but it's the discussion guide to a discussion guide written for Christian churches--a guide of a guide, and, as such, I think is more limited in its usefulness than what the UUA will hopefully provide.
As someone whose church is in a "prison town," I look forward to the conversations that may occur as a result of this Common Read choice. This is an issue that would be good for UUs nationally to turn our attention to. If you haven't read the book, go read it, even if you think you know what it says. It will still open your eyes even further.