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You’re Invited to a Virtual Book Discussion: “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee

Join Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for a community book discussion on Heather McGhee’s new book, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together on Wednesday, May 19.

The discussions will take place at the following times (which participants can self-select through the registration link):

  • 9:30-10:30 AM
  • 11:00-12:00 PM
  • 2:00-3:00 PM
  • 5:30-6:30 PM

To participate in the virtual book discussions, those living and working in Allegheny County should complete the following form by April 26th: (Registration has closed)

Note: Free copies of the book are available for pickup at the following Carnegie locations: East Liberty, Hazelwood, West End and Woods Run. You can also checkout physical and digital copies through the Library’s catalog.

This book discussion is offered as a companion piece to the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures New & Noted author event with Heather McGhee in conversation with William Generett Jr. This author event will premiere on Tuesday, May 4, with access to the discussion available online for one month. All book discussion participants will be emailed the link to view the author event on the day that it airs.

Link to more information on the author event can be found here:

About the Book:

From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, Heather McGhee found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too.

McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country, tallying what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm—the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. This is the story of how public goods in this country—from parks and pools to functioning schools—have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and how the U.S. has thwarted accessible health care.

With startling empathy, this heartfelt message from a Black woman to a multiracial America provides a new vision for a future in which we finally realize that life can be more than a zero-sum game. “The Sum of Us” is a brilliant analysis of how our society arrived here: divided and self-destructing, materially rich but spiritually starved and vastly unequal.


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