Ackerman’s Community Book Club selection for October is, We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. Pride, who is Black, is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. As an editor, she has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Piazza, who is white, is a bestselling author, podcast creator, and award-winning journalist.
In this novel, they explore race through the friendship of Riley who is Black and Jen who is white. The two women have been friends since kindergarten and have remained as close as sisters even though their lives took different directions. They have their friendship tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Jen, who is six months pregnant at the time, faces the realities of an uncertain future, her husband’s freedom, and her friendship with Riley. While Riley a television journalist who is on track to become one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia is covering the story. Riley wrestles with the implications of this tragic incident on her community, her ambitions, and her relationship with her lifelong friend.
This book, which is told from alternating perspectives, was selected to help us continue to explore more complex questions of race and how systemic racism and racial trauma impacts our most intimate relationships including friendship as we continue the work to actively create anti-racist spaces as clinicians and educators at Ackerman and beyond.
Book club selection and description written by Barbara Neal, M.Ed., LMFT
Image: “We Are Not Like Them” co-authors Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (Julia Discenza)
About Ackerman’s Community Book Club:
Ackerman’s Community Book Club is a monthly series of reading recommendations curated by our family therapy instructors. We invite you to read one book each month that explores diversity, equity, and inclusion and join us on a pathway to curiosity. The books on our list have been selected with the aim of increasing knowledge, empathy, willingness, and skill to confront xenophobia as therapists, educators, and lifelong learners, in the personal and professional spaces we occupy.