Pick of the Month

WITF's Pick of the Month bring's you the very best books and more. Every month we’ll recommend a great book for you to check out--from biographies and novels to poetry, children’s books and more. We’ll promote selections monthly on WITF TV and on WITF FM 89.5. Read along with us as we discover literary finds that engage, enlighten and entertain. Bookmark this page to keep up to date with the latest info about monthly picks—including details on how you can meet the authors. Pick up a copy and start reading today!

June pick-of-the-month "The Rich and the Rest of Us: a Poverty Manifesto"

Written by WITF Staff | Jun 1, 2016 1:00 AM

In 2011, educator and philosopher Cornel West partnered with public television and public radio host Tavis Smiley on a "Poverty Tour" to highlight the plight of the impoverished population of the United States. The 18-city bus tour led to a week-long special on the "Tavis Smiley" show on PBS and then to the book "The Rich and the Rest of Us".

In this challenging but accessible book, Smiley and Dr. West argue that dwindling opportunities in an increasingly paralyzed nation should force all of us to confront the underlying conditions of systemic poverty in America before it's too late. They place the fight to end multi-generational poverty in the context of our nation's greatest fights for social transformation, including the abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage, and the labor and civil rights movements, and they build on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose work was so heavily focused on economic inequality.

With 150 million Americans persistently poor or near poor, the highest numbers in over five decades, Smiley and West challenge the reader to re-examine their preconceived notions of the cause and effect of poverty in this nation and they issue a "manifesto" with the steps necessary to eradicate it.

Tavis Smiley is the host of "Tavis Smiley" on WITF and PBS stations across the country, as well as and Public Radio International's The Tavis Smiley Show. He is also the bestselling author of numerous books. 

Dr. Cornel West is considered one of America's most provocative public voices on the racial, economic and philosophic issues of our times. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist church, progressive politics, and jazz. He recently left a prominent post and Princeton University to return as Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

--Aaron's Books 

The June Pick of the Month is part of WITF's Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America project.  It's a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB and Ford Foundations. With additional local support from Capital Area Intermediate Unit, the Community First Fund, Lancaster-Lebanon Habitat for Humanity and ReStore and Tri County Community Action. Learn more at witf.org/ChasingTheDream.

 As WITF's Chasing the Dream coverage continues, we invite you to a free public forum. Thursday June 9th from 6 to 8pm at the Public Media Center in Harrisburg. What's it like to live within poverty's grip?  What can communities do to ensure affordable housing and quality education is available for all? Be part of this important conversation. Register online here.

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