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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative

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Overview

The Mayor Demings' MLK Initiative Book Club is the brainchild of the Education and Literacy Subcommittee of the MLK Initiative. The goal is to foster a love for literature by promoting books based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s values. Those values include: kindness, fairness and equality, love, selflessness, education, leadership, and hope. Books titles are selected by members of the MLK Initiative and Mayor Jerry L. Demings. Residents are encouraged to participate by finding the selections in their local library and enjoying these inspirational works.

Current Book

The Vanishing Half book cover

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Book Review

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Book Nominator

Kasey Brinkley, Orange County Staff Member & District 5 Resident

The Vanishing Half, a book written by New York Times-bestselling author Brit Bennett, inspired me to continue to show compassion towards others.

The book highlighted the values of equality, love and opportunity.

Borrow This Book

Orange County Library: E-Book | Audio Book

Previous Books

Book Nominator Resources
The Servant Leader by James A. Autry Robert Henlon, Fierce Entertainment Management LLC.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult Lisa Bachman, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead Kelly Quintero, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Why We Can't Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Mayor
Becoming by Michelle Obama Latisha Thompson, Orlando Utilities Commission
His Truth is Marching On by Jon Meacham, afterword by John Lewis Vera Gray, Orange County Resident, District 5
Across That Bridge by John Lewis Doreen Overstreet, Orange County Staff Member
A Promised Land by Barack Obama Lucas Boyce, Orange County Staff Member & District 2 Resident
Dear Martin by Nic Stone Beth Jackson, Orange County Staff Member