This Saturday February 13th at 2 pm the Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group is hosting a Galantine’s celebration and book club meet up at Surly Amy’s art studio with special guest author, Sikivu Hutchinson!
Sikivu Hutchinson has written a fantastic historical fiction novel about the events leading up to the horrific Jonestown murder/suicide that was led by the infamous, Reverend Jim Jones called, White Nights, Black Paradise. It is an eye-opening look at how even the best of people get involved in cults. It rips like a dagger in your gut when you realize how much organized religion really does offer to people in need, and how organizations, even secular ones (I’m looking at you big tent atheism) can assume the best intent but still take extreme financial and emotion tolls on their members- and in the most extreme cases, as with cults, their lives. This book is also a critical look back at atheism, second wave feminism and the civil rights movement in America. It speaks of oppression of the black community and how easy it was and still is, for white people to take advantage of that existing power imbalance. It even speaks to the fact that atheist leaders can create a cult religion following if they desire. It is an excellent lesson in critical thinking and demonstrates how faith healing can be faked and most frighteningly, how you can fool yourself in to believing in anything and anyone. It reminds us in no uncertain terms that many good intentioned people can commit atrocities- if they are simply offered hope.
This is definitely a novel that will get you thinking about your own life choices and how people can place themselves in a position of power and take advantage of those in need.
Read this book: White Nights, Black Paradise
And even if you haven’t read the book, you can still come and meet Sikivu and celebrate Galentine’s day with us this Saturday!
That’s right we are gonna celebrate our lady friends! There will be drinks and snacks and lively conversation and love. If you are in Los Angeles and you’d like to join us, RSVP on our Meet-up page! The only catch is, you must identify primarily as a woman or be a friend of a current member to attend.
See you Saturday!
PS: If you have read this book and want to chat about it but can’t make the meetup, feel free to post in the comments section here. I’d be happy to respond!
*Featured image via Amy Poeler’s Smart Girls.