Racial Justice Book Discussion – The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Racial Justice Book Discussion – The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Join SURJ Marin facilitators on Sept 19 to discuss The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman.  When two divergent cultures collide, unbridgeable gaps of language, religion, social customs may remain between them. This poignant account by Fadiman, editor of the American Scholar, of the clash between a Hmong family and the American medical community reveals that among the gaps yawns the attitude toward medicine and healing. The story focuses on Lia Lee, whose family immigrated to Merced, Calif., from Laos in 1980. At three months of age, Lia was diagnosed with what American doctors called epilepsy, and what her family called quag dab peg or, “the spirit catches you and you fall down.” Fadiman shows how the American ideal of assimilation was challenged by a headstrong Hmong ethnicity. She discloses the unilateral-ness of Western medicine, and divulges its potential failings.

This workshop is intended primarily for the education of white people. We welcome all who want to help move white people along in the movement for racial justice.

The event will not be recorded.

You can get this book at your local library, or if purchasing, we recommend a local bookseller such as https://www.bookpassage.com/ or online at https://ashaybythebay.com/ in support of a Black-owned bookstore.

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