Summer Reading How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
by Kiese Laymon
In this powerful book of essays, Professor Laymon explores what it means to "slowly kill yourself and others" through his own lived experiences, those of family members, and public figures. He coaxes the reader to experience the world from his perspective and that of others who are the frequent victims of systematic racism, marginalization, and oppression to more fully consider what may appear to be self-destructive personal behaviors. In so doing, Laymon asks us not to turn away from these dehumanizing systems and the violence they inflict, but to face the psychological, relational, and gendered torment these systems perpetuate.
At Colgate's 194th commencement, Professor Eddie Glaude challenged the Colgate community
to "fail better" by having the courage to "turn our backs on racial hatred, on sexism, on homophobia, on all forms of prejudice that deny the dignity and standing of every human being." With a sustained emotional and intellectual exploration of Laymon's text, the Colgate community fully embraces Professor Glaude's challenge and summons the courage to transform Colgate's culture.