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LeVar Burton is expanding his love for reading to adults, with the help of James Baldwin. Mr. Burton, known for Reading Rainbow, the literacy program that has delighted children for decades, has started a reading club for adults.
Book by James Baldwin first on the list
The LeVar Burton Book Club will premier on Fable, a website dedicated to promoting community among readers and book-lovers. Baldwin, who has written fiction and non-fiction about racism through the lens of intersectional identities since the 1950s, has the first book on the list.
In a statement LeVar Burton said, “As a lifelong advocate for literacy, the opportunity to launch my book club on Fable’s wonderful new platform is extremely exciting and timely.” He continued, “This partnership will help foster the importance of storytelling while sharing my love of reading.”
A collection led by famous Black authors
The LeVar Burton Book Club already has several books in its collection for reading and discussion. Mr. Baldwin’s 1953 semi-autobiographical novel, Go Tell It On the Mountain, is the first book on the reading list. Following that is best-selling Black author Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, then a collection of poetry by Jesmyn Ward.
Mr. Burton is a lifelong literacy advocate, who came to his love for reading through his mother, an English teacher. “I’m the man I am because she is the woman she is: My first teacher and an avid reader,” he said. “She not only read to me she read in front of me.”
Mr. Burton first became famous for his portrayal of Kunte Kinte in Roots, the award-winning television miniseries from 1977. He followed that up as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in the beloved Star Trek series “The Next Generation.”
Mr. Burton has kept busy since Reading Rainbow, the award-winning children’s literacy show which began in 1983, since it went off the air in 2009. He has a podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, for both children and adults, and is also slated to guest-host Jeopardy, to the delight of his fans.