Tag Archives: racism

Download the Synopses Handouts for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis – July 3, 2020

Well over 100 people are joining us on our “Remote” First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings. We had participants from all over the country. Please share this word far and wide — all are welcome!

Stamped from the Beginning handout cover

Click on image to download synopsis handouts

July 3, 2020 – Zoom
Two Book Synopses: The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger andStamped from the Beginning by Ibram X, Kendi.
Where: on ZOOM
When: This Friday, July 3, 7:30 am
The presentation will conclude shortly after 8:30 am
Speaker: Randy Mayeux

Click here to join in on Zoom:



We are all set for Friday’s Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.

#1 — Download, and print both synopses handouts by clicking here.


If you have ever attended our event, you know that I am handout intensive. You really will be able to follow along better with physical copies of the handouts in front of you. So, if you have a printer, please print the handouts.

#2 — Come on in for conversation whenever you can. I am still new to this whole Zoom practice, but I have enabled the “enable join before host” button. So, you can come in, and talk to folks. I will plan to join the meeting around 7:00, but will keep myself pretty much muted until I begin the program at 7:30. And, I will not “end the meeting” for a while after, if you want to continue conversations with others after we officially conclude.

#3 — Here is the info, with the link to join the gathering:

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: July 3, 2020 First Friday Book Synopsis

Time: Jul 3, 2020 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459

One tap mobile
+13462487799,,82787828459# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,82787828459# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
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Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbACZGOWfK


Reminder: The cost of this remote meeting is “free.”
But, if you would like to contribute to participate, Randy would welcome you to send $12.00 directly to him through PayPal Click here for a direct link to “donate” thorugh PayPal.

(Note:  you can also send money through Zelle, at Randy’s e-mail address).
(Randy’s e-mail address for PayPal , and Zelle, is ).

Please help spread the word far and wide; help make this a success.


You might want to read this post. It has a printable one-sheet reminder on how to make the most of your remote learning experience.
Remote Learning 101 – Read this before attending your learning session.

This Friday, (July 3) Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi – a few thoughts about informed conversation

StampedBeginningTHE TITLE STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING comes from a speech that Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis gave on the floor of the US Senate on April 12, 1860.
“This Government was not founded by negroes nor for negroes,” but “by white men for white men,” Davis lectured his colleagues. The bill was based on the false notion of racial equality, he declared. The “inequality of the white and black races” was “stamped from the beginning.”
Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning


On Friday, at the First Friday Book Synopsis (on Zoom), along with the excellent business book The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger, I will present my synopsis of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.  This book won the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Notice the full title: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.

Recently, I was talking about the racist history in our country, and our state, with a person who attends our First Friday Book Synopsis events. I read him excerpts from the Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America, and excerpts from the Texas Ordinance of Secession.  Both state, absolutely, that Black people are inferior to white people (thus: white supremacy), and that the proper place for Black people is the place of an enslaved person.  He acknowledged that he had never read that speech, or that document.

White supremacy; enslaved Black people.  This is the history of our country for a substantial amount of our time as a country.  And the ideas behind these realities have lingered for…well, until now.

In other words, there are not two sides of any argument here.  There is only one side.  Read the founding documents of the Confederacy.  Read the speeches and read the actual segregation laws.

And, later, as the decades progressed, it was never separate but equal.  It was quite separate, and quite unequal.

This book by Dr. Kendi reveals in full the racist thinking that underlies and informs so much of what has happened throughout our history.

The definition of the word “ignorance” is about the level of knowledge one has.  Ignorance is defined as “lack of knowledge.”   I am woefully ignorant about so many things;  I am ignorant about chemistry, physics, trigonometry, how to put on make up, how to repair an automobile engine, how to actually make a movie, to name just a few areas of my overwhelming ignorance. But – and I think this is an important but – I do not try to tell a physicist how to think about physics. I do not try to tell an automotive mechanic how to fix an engine.

In other words, if you have ignored studying an issue, you may in fact be ignorant about that issue.

In other words, if you claim to be a life-long learner, maybe you could do some of that learning in areas that you have ignored.

In other words, when one is ignorant about a subject, one should be careful about telling others what’s what about that subject. Ignorance results in uninformed conversations.

If you listen to my synopsis on Friday, and if you read this book by Ibrma X. Kendi, and other books dealing with issues of race, you will learn.  You will possibly learn that you have been told things that were not true. You may realize that you have even repeated some things that were not true.

This is a time to abandon such ignorance.  It is time to learn stuff.

Click here for the details of our First Friday Book Synopsis this Friday, July 3, 2020.  Come join us.


Here is a blog post I wrote after I first presented Dr. Kendi’s book for the Urban Engamen Book Club, sponsored by CitysquareStamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi – My Six Lessons and Takeaways.


A note about our conflicting blog posts regarding Confederate Statues

A note from Randy Mayeux:
I am writing this to help readers understand some conflicting messages on this blog.


Since the beginning of the First Friday Book Synopsis in 1998,  I (Randy Mayeux) and Karl Krayer shared the presentations, and we each wrote on this blog.

A few years ago, Karl Krayer suffered a stroke, and has been unable to make synopses presentations at our monthly events, or write on this blog.  So, I have assumed full leadership of the First Friday Book Synopsis, have made two book synopses presentations each month at our monthly events. since his departure, and I have continued to write posts on this blog all along.

Karl has recently begun writing posts on this blog again.  We certainly welcome him back.  But I want to address what appears to be conflicting messages on this blog.

At the top of each post, it always says either “Randy’s blog entries” or “Karl’s blog entries.”  This is, of course, to identify the author of a post.  And Randy and Karl are the only two writers who post on this blog.

As in any collaboration, people have different opinions; sometimes on controversial issues.  In some recent posts from Karl, if one were to read other posts by me, you can see that we have a strong difference of opinion over the issue of Confederate Statues and Monuments, and even over whether or not people can change their minds over issues of racism.

I simply want to point out the obvious;  that we have these differences.

I do believe that Confederate Statues should be removed. I do believe that the Confederate Flag should not be displayed.  And, I do believe that people can change their minds on issues of race (and, other issues as well).  Karl believes the opposite, as he described in his recent posts.

Here’s an interesting note: I went to Abilene Christian University for my undergraduate degree (it was then called Abilene Christian College).  A few short years ago, the university issued a widely-distributed apology for their racism throughout much of their history.  The leadership of the university did change their minds over issues of racism.  And they needed to.  Abilene Christian did indeed have some pretty ghastly racist practices and stances in their history.

Yes, I do oppose symbols of racism, and that is what I believe Confederate Statues to be.

Here is a post that represents my thoughts, describing my strong opposition to Confederate Statues and the Confederate Flag: Two Flags, Two Meanings – The American flag and the Confederate flag.

Please note that I will be presenting synopses of books on racial issues over the next few months at the First Friday Book Synopsis; books that might even lead people to change their minds about issues of racism.

Why have this conversation at all on a blog focused primarily on business books and issues?   Because this issue touches every corner of business – relationships between employees, between employers and employees, between business and client representatives, and between business and its larger outreach in the community and overall culture.  Even within ourselves, we can develop deeper understanding of the issues involved.

In the coming months, as I present one synopsis of a business book and a second synopsis of a book dealing with issues of race at each of our First Friday Book Synopsis sessions,  I will be treating these books as I do in all other synopsis presentations.  My intent, as always, is to let the author speak through the words of his/her book.

Hopefully, these presentations will help us all come to better informed decisions, and wiser and more inclusive business policies, and yes, even better informed opinions within ourselves.

Issues of racial injustice have become quite a large conversation throughout our society.  I felt that I needed to explain my thoughts on the conflicting conversation one is currently reading on this blog.

Karl and I agree on far more than we differ.  But, in this moment, I felt that this word of explanation regarding this specific issue might be helpful.

It’s Time for some Honest Conversations on Race – I have a way to help

It’s Time!
We’ve let too many moments slip by.
This moment must be captured.
It’s time to have honest conversations
about race in your organization.
Here is a way to get that started.

I write this on Juneteenth, 2020.

We have put off change, a reckoning, for too long.  Things have gone unaddressed.  We have ignored the reality of racism throughout our culture.  People talk of “systemic racism.”  Yes, systemic; a good word.  Deep, abiding, multi-generational racism.

As we have read the news these least few weeks, we see that one way many, many people are responding is by following the impulse to become better informed.  To “educate themselves.”   People are reading books  — not just one, but quite a few books that seem to be written for this moment.

Don’t you think it would be helpful for your organization to have some honest conversations about race?  And don’t you think that these conversations would be more productive if they were informed by the best books that people are reading?

I can help.

I have been presenting comprehensive synopses of books on poverty, social justice, and racism for over fifteen years.  I have presented these for CitySquare, each month, at the Urban Engagement Book Club.  And I have also presented a few of these synopses for the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

At our First Friday Book Synopsis, we have always presented two business books each month.  For the next few months, it will be one business book, and one book dealing with issues of racism.  I will begin with Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi at our July 3 gathering (on Zoom).

Please take a look at this flier.  Think about your needs.  I think what I offer can help you jump start some of those needed conversations for your leadership team, and others in your organization.

Let me know if I can help.

Click on image for full, printable view

Click on image for full, printable view

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, and The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger – Coming for the July 3 First Friday Book Synopsis (on Zoom)

First Friday Book Synopsis, July 3, 2020, on Zoom
Time:  7:30 am
Two Books:
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, and
The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger
Link to join meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82787828459

Please invite one and all to participate in this session. 


For July 3, 2020 First Friday Book SynopsisI am breaking precedent for the July 3, 2020 First Friday Book Synopsis.  This is a time that calls for the breaking of precedent.

For 22+ years, we have focused almost exclusively on books that deal with business issues at the First Friday Book Synopsis.  Oh, there have been a few wanderings here and there, usually dealing with leadership in sports, or politics, and a few other books that might have seemed a little far afield.  But I have always kept the overall subject of business improvement and excellence and success in mind.

But, this is a moment that beckons us to pay special attention to a national problem and challenge. And, it certainly has implications for every business in America.

So, for July and August, and possibly for September and October, maybe even longer, I have chosen to tackle the issues dealing with race in America through my book selections.

If you were to ask me what is the most important book to read, I would pause, and ask you to reconsider your question.  This is an issue that requires more than any one book. You simply will not learn enough to tell you what you need to know with any one book.

Last week, I wrote a blog post about the current best sellers (read that post here).  Of the top 15 books on Amazon’s overall list of best–selling books Friday (they update this list hourly), twelve of the fifteen dealt with issues of race.

I am not “new” to this; I have some long-term interest in this subject.  I have presented books on racism, social justice, and poverty, each month for over 15 years at the Urban Engagement Book Club in Dallas, sponsored by CitySquare. And, in addition to the academic work I did on civil rights rhetoric in my graduate student days at the University of Southern California, my wife and I have taken our vacation trips in recent years to the civil rights cities of Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, LIttle Rock, and Memphis.  In other words, I have paid attention to this issue for…decades.

For July, I have selected Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.  It won the National Book Award the year it was published, 2016.

Though I was tempted to begin with his latest book, How to Be An Antiracist, I felt like this book provided needed history and context. So, I will present my synopsis of his newer book in August.

I am leaning toward following up with White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, maybe in September.  And. among other books I am considering for this “series” are:  Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and possibly The Making of a Racist by Charles Dew.

And, there are so many others to read, to learn from, to ponder…

As for the business book that I have selected for July 3, I will present my synopsis of The Ride of a Lifetime by Roberg Iger, the man behind the last few years of Disney’s success. Bill Gates calls this one of the most important business books he has read in quite some time.  It is a book worth reading!

Our July 3 meeting will be on Zoom again; 7:30 am.  Please mark you calendar now.  (Meeting info is below). Come join us!


This meeting will be available to all for free.  If you care to participate financially, you might send $12.00 to the First Friday Book Synopsis thorough Pay Pal.  (Click here for a direct link to send money).
(Note: if you are a non-PayPal person, you can send money through Zelle by using my e-mail address, ).


Here is the information for the Zoom meeting.  Please save it to your calendar.

Randy Mayeux is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: July 3, 2020 First Friday Book Synopsis
Time: Jul 3, 2020 07:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,82787828459# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,82787828459# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

Meeting ID: 827 8782 8459

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbACZGOWfK


Best Sellers among all books, with books on race topping the list – and, Here is the New York Times list of best selling business books for June, 2020; Atomic Habits still at #1

The New York Times has just published its June, 2020 list of best-selling business books.  It is a good list, that I will share below.

But, first, a few words about another best-sellers list.

StampedBeginningAmazon updates its list of best sellers every hour.  And, right now FrIday, June 5, around 10:30 am Central time, the best-sellers list has gone through quite a transformation.  Books on racism and racial issues, have risen to the top of their list.  Note:  this is not a “category” list.  This is best sellers among ALL books.  As of this hour, out of the top 15 books, notice these:

#1 – White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
#2 – So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
#3 – How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
#4 – We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates
#5 – Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
#7 – The Color of Law:  A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
#8 – Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
#10 – The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#11 – Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (And Other Conversations about Race) by Beverly Angela Tatum
#12 – Just Mercy:  A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
#13 – Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
(#15 – Becoming by Michelle Obama)


(I include the Michelle Obama book because it is the memoir of a black woman in America).

This is nothing short of remarkable.  You may have seen the story of the American Airlines CEO Doug Parker reading the book White Fragility while on a Southwest Airlines flight, and how that sparked quite a poignant conversation with an African American flight attendant.  (Click here to read that story).

White FragilityI have made the decision to present Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi at the next First Friday Book Synopsis (July 3), probably following up with other books dealing with racism in the months to follow.

In other words, this moment calls for serious study and reflection.  This Amazon best sellers list signals hope that people are actually studying and reflecting in a way that might be helpful.


Now, for my usual monthly “best-sellers blog post.” The New York Times has published its monthly list of best-selling business books.

this is the book that we started with in 2019

this is the book that we started with in 2019

Of these ten books, after our July First Friday Book Synopsis, we will have presented seven of the ten at our monthly First Friday Book Synopsis gatherings.  I have presented synopses of Atomic Habits, Dare to Lead, Outliers, and Extreme Ownership.  And, in July, I will present The Ride of a Lifetime.  And my former colleague, Karl Krayer, presented his synopses of Grit, and Thinking, Fast and Slow.

These presentations are given each first Friday of the month in Dallas.  We are in our 23rd year of monthly gatherings, with two book synopses presented at each gathering.

(We have always met at the Park City Club, with their great breakfast and beautiful surroundings.  But, for now, we are meeting on Zoom).

Here are the ten books on this month’s list of best-selling business books.  Click over to the New York Times site for links to reviews of some of these books.

#1 – Atomic Habits by James Clear
#2 – Hustle harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
#3 – The Ride of a LIfetime by Robert Iger
#4 – Grit by Angela Duckworth
#5 – Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
#6 – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
#7 — Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
#8 — Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
#9 – This is Not a Fashion Story by Danielle Bernstein with Emily Siegel
#10 – The Price of Peace by Zachary D. Carter


Note:  our monthly Zoom meetings are available on YouTube; posted soon after the live event.  Watch this blog for those links each month.   — And, our synopses are available to purchase.  Each synopsis comes with the pdf of the comprehensive, multi-page handout, along with the audio recording of my presentation.  Click on the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  And, click here for our newest additions.