Research Guides

One Book, One U 2020

Brother I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
This year's One Book, One U selection is Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat.
One Book, One U Common Reading Program
The One Book, One U program selects a book for each Spring semester to provide a shared educational experience in our university community.  Find information on upcoming events as well as research resources, dicussion guides, and more!
Selection of books by Edwidge Danticat

Find the full list of events on the One Book, One U website.
Jan. 13: #IStandWithHaiti Haitian Apparel Day
Merrick Fountain
As part of Earthquake Remembrance Mini-Week of Events, Planet Kreyol invites members of the UM Community to join in a group photo to be shared as part of this social media campaign.
Jan. 14: Day of Earthquake Memorial
Foote Fellows Green
As part of Earthquake Remembrance Mini-Week of Events, Planet Kreyol invites members of the UM Community to honor the memory of over 230,000 individuals whose lives were lost on January 12, 2010, by viewing a display of Haitian flags on the Foote II University Green throughout the day.
Jan. 15: Earthquake Remembrance Ceremony
Shalala Center Ballrooms
7:00 – 8:30 pm

On January 12th, 2010 a catastrophic 7.0 Mw Earthquake hit the country of Haiti. Despite the devastating effects of this event, Haiti has exhibited a tremendous amount of growth, resilience, and strength as a nation. Planet Kreyol would like to honor the lives lost with a celebration that exhibits the culture and spirit of Haiti through song, dance, poems, and more. Please join the UM community in celebrating the ten years of growth Haiti has exhibited since this catastrophic event with performances from the on-campus and local Haitian community.
Feb. 3: Acculturation, Immigration, and Well-Being: What Can Brother, I’m Dying Teach Us?
Location: TBA
Join School of Education and Human Development faculty and Ms. Gepsie Metellus of Sant La, The Haitian Neighborhood Center, Inc, for a panel discussion on lessons learned from Danticat’s memoir. Lunch will be provided.
Feb. 6: Screening of “Liberty in a Soup”
Cosford Cinema
Every January 1st, in celebration of their independence, Haitian families gather to celebrate their freedom with a soup. The film narrates and documents the filmmaker’s journey to Haiti in an effort to understand this tradition in the context of the Haitian revolution and its role in the development of modern humanity. Discussion to follow.  Please see this flyer for the film series.
Presented by the Cosford Cinema and the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.
Feb 12: Panel Discussion on Haitian Immigration to the US
University of Miami School of Law Library, 4th floor, Faculty Meeting Room
The UM School of Law is pleased to present a panel featuring immigration experts Becky Sharpless, Caroline Bettinger-Lopez, Jacqueline Charles, and John Pratt in a discussion of Haitian Immigration framed by Brother, I’m Dying. The panel will be moderated by Osamudia James, Professor of Law & Dean’s Distinguished Scholar. No RSVP required. Free copies of the book will be available while supplies last.
Feb. 13: Screening of “La Belle Vie”
Cosford Cinema

The film features Haitian-American filmmaker, Rachelle Salnave’s journey to discover her Haitian roots by examining the complexities of Haitian society as it pertains to its political and economic dichotomy. Using her own family stories interconnected with capturing the voices of Haitians and experts overall, this film chronologically uncovers the rationale behind its social class system but also how it has affected the Haitian American migration experience. Discussion with Salnave to follow.  Please see this flyer for the film series.
Presented by the Cosford Cinema and the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change.
Feb. 20: Screening of “My Father’s Land”
Cosford Cinema
My Father's Land is a feature documentary, which explores the life of Papa Jah, a humble Haitian Bushman who must return from the Bahamas to his hometown in Haiti after falling ill. Discussion to follow. Please see this flyer for the film series.
Presented by the Cosford Cinema and the Center for Communication, Culture, and Change
Feb. 27: Pre-Keynote Gathering and Book Discussion
The Rathskeller: Lewis Room
5:15 – 6:30pm
Join the UM Women’s Commission for an informal gathering and light refreshments prior to attending the Feb 27th event with Edwidge Danticat. For more information or to RSVP please email Founded in 1971 by a group of eleven strong women, the commission is committed to encouraging a general awareness of women's needs and interests and developing educational opportunities about issues confronting women.
Feb. 27: Keynote Event with Author Edwidge Danticat
Kislak Center
Join the One Book, One U program to hear Danticat discuss her book, Brother, I’m Dying. This event is free and open to the public. Please register here by Monday, February 24. A reception with the author will follow. FREE COPIES of the book will be available while supplies last and additional copies will be available for purchase.
Mar. 3: American Alien: A Discussion with Edwidge Danticat
Time: TBA
Join Sigma Tau Delta and Planet Kreyol for a discussion with Danticat about her novel Brother, I’m Dying, and the themes of immigration, integration and alienation contained therein. This discussion will focus on the question of how we think about cultural identity and how it has been shaped or changed as we interact with and assimilate into American culture. Students will also be encouraged to ask their own questions! There will be homemade Haitian food provided, and FREE copies of the book for a few lucky students!”
Free Community Day Featuring Artist, Jacob Lawrence.
Location and time: TBA
As part of their Free Community Day series designed for families, the Lowe Art Museum will highlight the exhibition, History, Labor, and Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence. Lawrence’s work includes 41 prints focused on The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the leader of Haiti’s independence movement. This Free Community Day will also include a special reading of one of Edwidge Danticat’s children’s books. Check back for more details!
Primary Source Resources
Interview with Edwidge Danticat
Discussion questions
Using the Chapter Summaries document, select a chapter that relates to your class or group and host a discussion session.  Use some of the questions below, adapted from the American Library Association Book Discussion Group online guide.
  • What does Edwidge Danticat celebrate or criticize in the culture? Consider family traditions, economic and political structures, the arts, language, food, religious beliefs.
  • Does she wish to preserve or reform the culture? If reform, what and how? Either way—by instigating change or by maintaining the status quo—what would be gained or what would be at risk?
  • How does the culture differ from yours? What was most surprising, intriguing, difficult to understand? After reading the book, have you gained a new perspective—or did the book affirm your prior views?
  • Does the book offer a central idea or premise? What are the problems or issues raised? Are they personal, spiritual, societal, global, political, economic, medical, scentific?
  • Do the issues affect your life? How so—directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now or sometime in the future?
  • What kind of language does Ms. Danticat use? Is it objective and dispassionate? Or passionate and earnest? Is it polemical, inflammatory, sarcastic? Does the language help or undercut the author's premise?
  • Does Ms. Danticat—or can you—draw implications for the future? Are there long- or short-term consequences to the problems or issues raised in the book? If so, are they positive or negative? Affirming or frightening?
  • Does Ms. Danticat—or can you—offer solutions to the problems or issues raised in the book? Who would implement those solutions? How probable is success?
  • Does Ms. Danticat make a call to action to readers—individually or collectively? Is that call realistic? Idealistic?Achievable? Would readers be able to affect the desired outcome?
  • Are the book's issues controversial? How so? And who is aligned on which sides of the issues? Where do you fall in that line-up?
  • Can you point to specific passages that struck you personally?  Why did that particular passage leave an impression on you?
  • Did you learn something new reading this book? Did it broaden your perspective about a difficult personal issue? Or a societal issue?

(Find more questions and guidelines on ALA's Book Discussion Guide.)
UM Instructional Designers
Want more ideas and activities?  Reach out to the Learning Innovation & Faculty Engagement team at Academic Technologies!  Contact them at  Find more information on the Academic Technologies website.
Community Resources

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