Common Read selection for 2019-20 announced

2019 Common Read - And it Begins Like This - by LaTanya McQueen
Credit: Provided

LaTanya McQueen’s And It Begins Like This will be the Common Read for the 2019-20 academic year.

McQueen's collection of essays weaves together historical and genealogical research, folklore, Biblical passages, literary theory and criticism, and personal memory to examine the legacy of slavery and its relationship to black female identity in contemporary America. lead us into rich discussions of race, gender, and political and social activism.

One essay describes McQueen’s quest to learn about her great-grandmother who had three children by a white man. Another is McQueen’s own story as a student at the University of Missouri in 2015 and 2016 when threats and attacks were made on students of color and student protests raged. Yet another revolves around McQueen’s debates on how to address racial slurs and whether to be part of protests.

McQueen's book will lead faculty, staff, students, and community members into rich discussions of race, gender, and political and social activism.

Several “Common Read, Uncommon Experience” program events will take place in the fall, including a visit to campus by McQueen herself, scheduled for Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

McQueen received her MFA from Emerson College, her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, and was the 2017-18 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College. Currently, she is a visiting assistant professor of English, creative writing, and African American studies at Coe College.

Common Read is sponsored by Penn State Altoona’s Division of Arts & Humanities. More information and a listing of events will be posted at as information becomes available.