BookTalk Sisters

Gathering together around books

Discussion Summary

July 11, 2018

The group watched the Childish Gambino video “This is America,” and discussed it as a reflection of African Americans’ historical and contemporary relationship to the United States as well as a broader complaint on violence in our society.

We read the Declaration of Independence and discussed the conditions which lead to the American Revolution, focusing on the complaints the colonists had against King George III. We related those complaints to those many have against our current government.

We read the Preamble to the U. S. Constitution. Next, because of our abbreviated schedule this summer, we moved to Article Three (Judiciary) and Amendment 14 (Citizenship).


  • Our nation was founded on the basis of protesting unfair government. Protests in the current political climate continue that practice.
  • Original DOI language “Life , Liberty and property.
  • The group focused on the word “self-evident that all men are created equal” being ironic and narrow considering enslavement of Africans and other inequalities.
  • The DOI was a statement submitted to a “candid world,” not just to King George III.

The DOI has in fact been used as a model in the establishment of new governments and statements of independence.

  • Discussion of the Second Amendment
    • We discussed the ambiguity and potential reasoning behind the amendment.
      • Does it grant individuals the right to be armed in a similar way as our militia, that is, do citizens have a right to own military grade weapons?
      • Do we share the same danger of a standing army as early Americans?

Next Meeting:

We hope to cover two platforms (Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter) that borrow from the founding documents. We will also cover Lessons 8 and 2 from Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.