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NEA Big Read: IRSC Reads Brother, I'm Dying: Cross-Curricular Support

Information about the 2017 Big Read at Indian River State College on the Treasure Coast of Florida. We will read Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying. Check here for activities and updates to events for anyone who wants to attend.

"The Problem of Genre: Memoir or Historical Novel?" from Suchismita Banerjee

Points of Entry to Brother, I'm Dying from Marvin Hobson

Arts, Humanities, Communication & Design:

Story Telling, Haitian Art, Music, Dance, French, Creole, Haitian cuisine


NGOs, Non-profits, Faith-based organizations, Economics, Debt to France, Economics of Colonialism, Imperialism, and Liberation


Language, Literacy, History, Colonialism/Postcolonialism, Haitian Revolution, West African Traditions, Geography, Caribbean, Hispaniola, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, French Revolution

Health Sciences:

Public Health, Nutrition, Mortality, HIV, Alternative medicine, Houngans, Medicine doctors, Cholera, Tuberculosis

Industry, Manufacturing & Construction:

Architecture, Rebuilding, Water Treatment, Sanitation, Monuments, Construction

Public Safety, Fire Science & Law:

Emergency Preparedness, Immigration, Violence, Gangs

Social Sciences, Human Services, Government:

Politics, US Global Influence, Armed Forces, Dictatorships, US Occupation of Haiti, Leadership, Coup d'Etat, Religion, Ethics, Voodoo, Christianity, Catholicism, Children of Immigrants, Child Development and Behavior


Geology, Earth Science, Deforestation, Earthquake, Ecology

Literacy for Everyone

Faculty do not need to assign the entire book in order to incorporate Brother, I'm Dying into the curriculum. Find some ways that you can support a better understanding of another culture through a close reading of a few select passages. 

Political Science Discussion Questions from Daphne Cooper

I wanted to begin this discussion by identifying 4 major points:


1. The mistrust/skepticism of the American Government early on by the certain individuals in the Danticat family (Joe; Denise, Older Individuals) that are living in Haiti.


2.  Is the American Dream Only Great when we are assisting those in need (emergencies, health care, a better education from American Universities) or helping younger generations from least developed countries to attain the American Dream? 


3.   The United States Immigration System.  Does it Help or Hinder specific groups of people?

• Is the United States Immigration System Flawed?  Cubans and Haitians experience different treatment when entering this country, why?

• Were the customs agent’s racist/bias/stereotypical behavior?  Did the customs agents already have a preconceived notion about Joseph and Max? Or Haitians In general?

• Uncle Joseph did tell the truth, he was seeking Asylum.  Why didn't the customs agents listen to him? 

• Were his rights violated?  They both had the proper documentation (Tourists Visa’s).  Were the customs agents in the wrong for placing them both into Krome?  Can they just put someone in prison who was is an illegal immigrant?  Yes, they can.  But EVEN if they had the proper documentation?


4. Was the Federal Bureaucracy Inefficient? 

• Joseph has been traveling back and forth to America for 30 years for health purposes or to visit his son Max and other family members, could he have over stayed his welcome or just apply for citizenship if he wanted too.

• Who was at fault for his death? The American Government or did he die from Natural Causes.