Upcoming Event: “Reading Club”, Talking about Diversity through a Book!

On September 1, 2020, The F-Word was approved as a non-profit organization! It has been four months since we held a general meeting at the end of May with a group of people who shared our ideas. After a lot of paperwork and stamps, we can finally officially call ourselves a non-profit organization! Thank you for all the support.

This is a blog announcing an event to celebrate our non-profit organization’s recognition.
The event will be “Read through one English book in two months and learn about diversity and critical thinking!” It’s a pretty dense event, but we are confident that you will feel a sense of accomplishment and gain a great deal from this event.

【Click here to make a reservation.】

The act of “reading a book” is very much about “what book you read and how you read it.” What will you receive from facing a book through this event?

(1) What kind of books do you read?
What kind of books you read depends largely on what you want to achieve. If you want to learn to cook, choose a recipe book; if you want to read a story, choose a novel; if you want to gain accounting knowledge, choose a business book, etc., depending on your purpose. For this event, we’ve chosen a book that is perfect for the purpose of broadening your perspectives, learning about diversity, and training your critical thinking.

The book we will be discussing is Trevor Noah’s autobiography, “Born a Crime.”
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian and current host of the popular American show “The Daily Show”. His satirical commentary on the news is very funny.
We chose this book as the subject matter for the event because by focusing on cultures and societies that are completely different from those of Japan, you can learn about diversity while cultivating the ability to think of “other people’s business” as “your business.”

The book is set in Trevor’s home country of South Africa, but when he was born and raised, apartheid policies were still in place. The apartheid policy was a bad law, like Jim Crow laws, which divided the races. In other words, Trevor was born and raised as a black-white mix at a time when whites and blacks were divided into residential areas and were not allowed to marry, and there was a disparity. Growing up as a mixed black and white man at a time when blacks and whites were not allowed to marry must have been difficult, but Trevor’s autobiography is a lively account of the daily events of his life with a lighthearted pace that does not make the hardships seem like a hardship.

I believe that the use of imagination is a very important element in broadening our perspectives, as it allows us to see “other people’s affairs” as our own. If you can only see things from your own perspective, the world cannot expand beyond your own value. However, I believe that being able to imagine other people’s point of view expands the world a billion times.
By reading and discussing a country in Africa with terrible racial discrimination and poverty as if it were your own affair, you can gain many perspectives and thoughts.

2) How do you read it? .
Once you’ve decided on your work, the next question is how to read it. This is a very important point.
In conclusion, it is important to 1) read while thinking, 2) put your thoughts together, and 3) refer to other thoughts, so that your reading doesn’t end there.

It is important to read and acquire knowledge from a critical point of view rather than just reading. Critical thinking is not about arguing with or criticizing others, but rather about removing the framework of thinking and shifting from “of course it’s true” to “is it really true?”
This event prepares you for the process of developing this critical thinking.

Each chapter of the book will provide you with a thinking point for the week.
By keeping those points in mind as you read, you’ll be able to “read as you think” rather than just read through the book.
Furthermore, in each week’s event, you will be discussing each topic, and you will need to summarize your thoughts in order to share them with others. For some people this will come together through writing, while for others it will come together through ruminating in their heads.
And when you are exposed to the thoughts of others at an event, you can be exposed to perspectives and opinions that you may not have thought of. If possible, I think it’s a good idea to take some time after the event to compare your own opinions with those of others, so that you can deepen your thinking.

Repeating these things for two months will help you to make critical thinking a habit.
I forgot to mention that this event is entirely in English with books and discussions in English, so it’s a great way to brush up on your English.
We’ll even try to make sure everyone has something to say every time, even if you’re not good at speaking in front of people, so don’t worry!

【Click here to make a reservation.】