The UMSL Common Read selection for 2019 is If Beale Street Could Talk

The 2019-2020 Common Read is James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, first published in 1974. The goal of the Common Read program is to foster discussions on campus and in the community about what it means to live in St. Louis. In this way, we hope to implement the UMSL Strategic Plan’s goals for the Compact for Inclusive Excellence.

The funding for the programs comes from a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion grant from the University of Missouri System and the Carpenter Lecture Series, in the UMSL College of Arts and Sciences.

beale street book cover
"...vividly human...timeless"
- Joyce Carol Oates

Participate in this unique opportunity to

Spark a wide-ranging conversation about diversity and inclusion in our community and on our campus


Provide a shared intellectual experience that connects students, faculty and staff


Model for UMSL students the concept of multi-disciplinary, broad-based inquiry