Book Club Discussion Guide
1. To what extent was Ava and Celie’s friendship changed by the civil rights issues of their time?
2. Of the two girls, who is most admirable and why?
3. H. Rap Brown’s call to action, intended for crowds in cities, drew attention from the press but he wasn’t able to stir up the following of local citizens he had hoped for. He’d been counting on joblessness and deteriorating housing condition to spur action from the Black Community in 1967. It didn’t happen – why not?
4. The author intimates that a handful of angry white teen-agers are the ones who set fire to the school in the 1967 and caused the burning of Race and Pine community. Who do you think did it and why?
5. What made the small cities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland such desirable targets for rallies, Freedom Rides, and sit-ins? (Especially given that local residents were so few that outside college student and activist were called in to assist).
6. What made the Fire Chief refuse to fight the fire. Was it really fear of being shot or something else?
7. Celie chooses to allow Gabe to go out of her life so that he can achieve something for his African-American community. Will she go after him in a while? Wait for him? Move on to a different relationship? (What about her character makes your outcome likely?)
8. Was Sari evil? If so, how much was born and how much bred? How about Venus? What accounts for her destructiveness?
9. How can so much hate arise so quickly, in a community with a record of peace and compromise that had been there for a hundred years?
10. Are the incidents of civil unrest, racial violence, and inequality any different in 2019? If not, how are they different?