One Read For Racial Justice: The Stars and the Blackness Between Them


What is a One Read?

The One Read for Racial Justice is an annual, collaborative, campus-wide initiative that seeks to raise awareness about racial justice issues, create opportunities for dialogues across difference and discipline, and to promote community. It’s like a giant book club where we all get together to read a common text and then discuss it as a community and plan other events that help deepen our understanding of the book and its themes. The One Read is an initiative led by the library in collaboration with a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni across departments and disciplines.


What book are we reading?

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus

This year’s book is “a meditation on love—love of the self, of the family, of the desired, of blackness, of the natural and cosmic worlds, of life itself. Written in the poetics of black vernaculars, it tells the stories of two young women who love each other, the diasporic communities they come from, and the transformational power that is the multilayered blackness between them.” (—Alexis De Veaux, author of Yabo and Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde). It is written in a mixture of fiction and prose and explores themes such as love, loss, healing, incarceration, abolition, food, friendship and centers Black, Queer diasporic experiences. Local author, Junauda Petrus is not only an incredible storyteller, but an artist, activist, and playwright.

Where can I get the book?


How do I participate?

  • Read the book
  • Attend an event
  • Learn more by exploring our resource guide
  • Organize an event or host a discussion
  • Integrate the book into your course/work
  • Join the planning group


Fall 2023 Event Series


Wednesday, July 26
Faculty/Staff Book Discussion
The Library 127/Virtual
Register here
Co-hosted by the Teaching Hub

Monday, September 18
11:45-1:15 pm
Book Discussion led by visiting scholar, Trevon Logan
Library Dew Drop Area
Food provided
Co-hosted by Justice Reads

Monday, September 18
6-7:30 pm
“All We Have is Truth”: Burdened Individuality, Abstract Equality, and Economic Inference
A Public Lecture with visiting scholar, Dr. Trevon Logan
Rauenhorst Ballroom
Hosted by Phi Beta Kappa and the Minnesota Center for Diversity in Economics

Friday, September 29
12-1:30 pm
Pillow Talk: A Conversation about Reading Romance as a Feminist Act
The Center for Women (CdC 230)
Co-hosted by the St. Kate's Bookstore and Center for Women

Thursday, October 5
Resisting Book Bans Pop-Up Library
Atrium 1 (outside library & cafeteria), CdC 1st floor
Learn, read, and take action against censorship

Thursday, October 5
Going Out, Coming In: An Immersive Experience
Mill City Museum
Hosted by the Center for Intercultural Development

Saturday, October 21
Walking Together: A Pilgrimage Against Racism
St.Thomas Aquinas Chapel to George Floyd Square
Co-hosted the Center for Spirituality & Social Justice

Aesthetics of Loss: Curated by Nirmal Raja
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery

Thursday, November 16
Empty Bowls Soup Social
Frey Theatre

Thursday, November 16
A Conversation with Junauda Petrus
The O’Shaughnessy
Junauda Petrus brings magic to the O'Shaughnessy wheel article

Thursday, April 4 
4-6 pm
The Speculative, Spiritual, and Sensual Self: A Creative Writing Pajama Party with Junauda Petrus
Library Dew Drop Area

Monday, March 18 - Friday, March 22 
One Read International Film Festival 

More events forthcoming

Follow us here and on social media to keep up with new events as they are added!

Want to be more involved in the planning of this and future One Reads, including helping choose the next One Read text? Consider joining the planning group. Email Amy Mars ( for more information.