Common Read

The Thomas College Common Read is our invitation to join our academic community of individuals who share and explore ideas with each other.

2022 Common Read

The 2022 Common Read are these two poems by Maya Angelou:

About the Author

Maya Angelou was an American author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist best known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Angelou received several honors throughout her career, including two NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary work (nonfiction) category, in 2005 and 2009.

Maya Angelou became the first Black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco, California, in the 1940s.Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, is the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. Maya Angelou recited one of her poems at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inaugural ceremony — marking the first inaugural recitation since 1961.Maya Angelou was lauded in 1995 for her record-setting, two-year run on The New York Times’ paperback nonfiction bestseller list. Maya Angelou is the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced, for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. MLK Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou’s birthday (April 4) in 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterward. In 1952, Maya Angelou married a Greek sailor named Anastasios Angelopulos, from whom she took her professional name.

Common Read Instructions

After reading and reflecting on this year’s selection, we’d ask you to create a written response. During Fall Orientation, you will have an opportunity to discuss what you have written along with other students in your class. Your written response is due to the Provost’s office by Friday, August 5. For more information, click the button below.

Previous Common Reads

  • We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • A Hope in the Unseen, Ron Suskind
  • I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai
  • Dear Marcus, Jerry McGill
  • An Invisible Thread, Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
  • The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore
  • Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
  • The Pact, Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt
  • The Last Lecture, Jeffrey Zaslow and Randy Pausch
  • Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin