The Free Library is thrilled to announce the 19th annual One Book, One Philadelphia selection... The Tradition by Jericho Brown
Each year, a single book is chosen by library staff, teachers, and community members as the centerpiece for citywide reading, conversation, and eight weeks of programming.
This is the first year that the One Book featured title is a collection of poems. Whether we read just one poem or the entire collection, Jericho Brown’s voice leaps from the page and reaches deep into the heart of the reader. Each poem is an offering, an opening, a history, and a place of recognition.
"I begin with love, hoping to end there," Brown writes, as he calls on memory to fuse national history with the present moment. Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, The Tradition examines our country's foundations of racialized violence and oppression, questioning how and why we have become accustomed to terror. At the same time, The Tradition blossoms with invention, connection, love, and tenderness, bursting with Black queer joy. It gives pause for readers to reflect on the natures of family, faith and spirituality, myth, and the garden of the body. It asks us what we will do with our history and traditions, and most importantly what new traditions we will create to pass on to those who come after us.
Today marks the beginning of the official One Book public reading period. Check out your ebook, audiobook, or paperback copy of The Tradition from the Free Library today!
From April 14 to June 9, dozens of virtual programs, events, and creative workshops will bring readers together to discuss and explore the themes in The Tradition. The program season launches with a kickoff event on Wednesday, April 14, featuring a conversation between Jericho Brown and Philadelphia Poet Laureate, Trapeta B. Mayson.
Young readers are invited to join the conversation with youth companion titles The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (middle grade) and Hey Black Child written by Useni Eugene Perkins and illustrated by Bryan Collier (children's).
The One Book 2021 selection is endorsed by the Concerned Black Workers at the Free Library (CBW). For more information on how to support CBW, please read their statement or email blackworkersflp @ gmail.com.