A Virginia judge handed down an unusual sentence last year after five teenagers defaced a historic black schoolhouse with swastikas and the words “white power” and “black power”. Instead of spending time in community service, judge Avelina Jacob decided, the youths should read a book. But not just any book. They had to choose from a list of ones covering some of history’s most divisive and tragic periods. Read more What books did Oscar Wilde read in prison? Our teenagers have the lowest literacy rates in the OECD Obama is building a library and grappling again with Chicago politics 10 of the world’s most beautiful libraries open to the public ‘No libraries or streetlights left by 2020 if austerity doesn’t stop’ The horrors of the Holocaust awaited them in Night by Elie Wiesel. The racism of the Jim Crow South was there in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The brutal hysteria of persecution could be explored in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. A year has passed since the youths spray painted their hateful messages on the side of the Ashburn Coloured School, a one room, 19th century classroom that had been used by black children during segregation… Read full this story
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