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03/07/2018

Winthrop Selects 2018-19 Common Book

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 The book will allow Winthrop students to see the division between past and present through the eyes of someone who experienced both, said Gloria Jones, dean of University College.
 Winthrop’s Common Book is integrated into “The Human Experience: Who am I?” course, a required class that is part of Winthrop’s general education offerings.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – This summer, Winthrop University freshmen will read about how a small Virginia town reacted when the Supreme Court decided in 1954 that having separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional.

Rather than integrating their schools as called for in the historic Brown versus Board of Education case, the town closed and padlocked the doors. Its schools remained closed for five years.

“Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County” was selected by Winthrop University as its Common Book for 2018-19. The book’s author is Kristen Green, the granddaughter of one of the men instrumental in locking the doors. She takes the reader on an historical journey back to the founding of Farmville, Virginia, and lays the foundation for the actions taken by her ancestors in 1959.

Green clearly abhors the actions taken by her ancestors, but she loves the town where she grew up and where her mother still lives.

The book will allow Winthrop students to see the division between past and present through the eyes of someone who experienced both, said Gloria Jones, dean of University College.

“Our hope is that students will learn how far we have come in race relations and how far we have yet to go,” Jones said. “Our country and our world seem to be poised on a precipice; we want to start a campus-wide conversation about an issue that still has the potential to divide us.”

Winthrop’s Common Book is integrated into “The Human Experience: Who Am I?” course, a required class that is part of Winthrop’s general education offerings. Two of the areas examined in this course are “the self in education” and “the self in community,” both of which resonate in this historical and personal account, Jones said. “With a stated course goal of ‘understanding the perspectives of others,’ the course and its attendant discussions in HMXP become the ideal place to wrestle with a topic that has long been ‘the elephant’ in the academic classroom,” said Jones. “In order to prepare our HMXP faculty and the university community, Winthrop will bring in an expert in leading these kinds of discussions in the classroom and across the campus.”

New students will receive “Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County” at Orientation sessions in June and August. The Common Book Project, in place at Winthrop since 2004, works to integrate Winthrop students into the university environment and offers them a common intellectual experience that upholds Winthrop's strong academic values.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2404.


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