One Book-One College: Come Read With Us


By Kenneth L. Ender, Ph.D

Summer is quickly coming to close and the first day of classes looms large for all of us at Cumberland County College. For the second year in a row – and for the second time in the college’s history - we expect more than 3,000 students to join us as we begin the fall semester on Sept. 2.

This large entering freshman class and the college’s faculty and staff are reading a book together this fall. Last year - at the suggestion of then Board of Trustees Chairwoman Joanne Gittone and Trustee, the late DeEdwin Hursey - the faculty determined that all new students should share a common experience by reading and discussing a book selection. This new program is called One Book-One College. The faculty chose James McBride’s The Color of Water, which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for two years.

The Color of Water is McBride’s autobiographical account of his mother, a white Jewish woman from Poland who raised 12 black children in New York City and sent each to college. It has been described in the Baltimore Sun as “a wonderful story that goes beyond race…richly detailed…earthy, honest.”

So this award-winning book will be a “must read” on campus this fall, and we are also inviting area residents to read the book and attend related events at CCC. During the semester, there will be lively discussions on The Color of Water. The public is invited to two events: A panel discussion will be held on Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. in the Guaracini Arts Center and McBride will be discussing his book and performing with his jazz band on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the arts center.

We feel that One Book-One College will provide an outstanding opportunity for the college and the community to bond on a single topic. So join us this fall to share our excitement for The Color of Water, and the provocative discussions it will evoke. Read McBride’s book and help us to extend One Book-One College to One Book-One Community.

For information, please call 691-8600, ext 358.