Community reading activities seem to be popular nationwide, but we’re not aware of any “One Book, One State” programs. North Carolina might be coming close with Timothy Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name. Wake County has just selected the book for its 2006 “Wake Reads Together,” following close behind Rocky Mount’s pick of the same book for its “One Book, One Community” program. New Hanover County chose Blood Done Sign My Name for a similar program earlier this year, and the current crop of freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill read it over the summer.
Tyson’s compelling history of a racially-motivated murder in Oxford, N.C. in 1970 is interwoven with an honest autobiographical account. Blood Done Sign My Name is a great starting point for a community-wide discussion about race and how we remember the past. If North Carolina were to give “One Book, One State” a try, this book would be an excellent choice.