Books & Community in Anderson

In February the Anderson County Library is launching a new program, Books & Community. The focus of the program is to bring the community together through a shared reading experience. Discussions will give members from all aspects of the community a chance to share ideas and stories about how the material relates to their daily lives. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

This year’s focus is on Black History Month, and Anderson County Library has selected the National Book Award title, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Between the World and Me is written to Coates’s son, collecting his thoughts on what it means to be a young black man in America today. Throughout February there will be panel discussions, book discussions, and a special appearance from debut author Nic Stone, whose young adult novel Dear Martin closely ties with the themes of Coates’s essays.

Anderson County Library is kicking off the community discussion with a presentation from Dr. Bobby Donaldson, Director of the Civil Rights Center at USC and member of Columbia SC 63. Dr. Donaldson will share stories, documents, and photos from the Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina at the Anderson County Main Library on Thursday, February 1 at 6pm.

Later in the month there will be two panel discussions with leaders of the greater Anderson community at the Anderson County Main Library. The first will be held on Monday, February 12 at 6:30pm and the second will be on Sunday, February 18 at 3:30pm. There will also be a panel discussion at the Westside Community Center on Thursday, February 15 at 6:00pm.

Debut novelist Nic Stone will be at the Anderson County Main Library on Monday, February 26 at 6pm. Stone will be talking about her young adult book, Dear Martin, in which the main character, Justyce, trying to make sense of the death of his best friend at the hands of an off-duty police officer, writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Books will be available for purchase and book signing will take place afterward.

If participants want to discuss the Between the World and Me in a smaller group setting, visit the Powdersville Branch on February 1 at 6pm, the Belton Branch on February 10 at 10am, Carolina Bauernhaus on February 21 at 7:30pm, the Pendleton Branch on February 22 at 6pm, or at the Main Library on February 28 at 12pm.

Limited copies of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates will be given out at  local Anderson County Library locations on a first-come, first-served basis. Books & Community is sponsored by the Anderson County Library, Anderson County Human Relations Council, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and South Carolina Humanities.

For more information about these events and others, visit the website at and follow Anderson County Library on Facebook and Twitter.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.