Revolutionary Reads

At the core of YWCA’s mission, our most essential job is to imagine, fight for, and create a more socially just world for the next generation of women — and also prepare them for that future. Since 2018, we’ve hosted a new kind of book club.

Each month, we feature reads that tie directly to YWCA Dayton’s current advocacy priorities – economic advancement, gender-based violence, affordable housing, and girls of color– to raise awareness and spark dialogue.

2023 Summer Book Club

This summer we’ll be reading four books and having four meet ups. RSVP online for any or all of the meet ups.

  • June: Hood Feminism, Mikki Kendall. Sponsored by Jenni Frazer. 
  • July: Cooking for the Culture: Recipes and Stories from the New Orleans Streets to the Table, Toya Boudy Sponsored by RFFG Marketplace.
  • August: Franchise, Marcia Chatelain
  • September: The Light We Carry, Michelle Obama


Next Up: Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by Marcia Chatelain

Discussion: 4:30 p.m. August 31. LOCATION TBD


Book: Amazon; Dayton Metro Library; Email to inquire if YW has available copies

From civil rights to Ferguson, Franchise reveals the untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of Black wealth in America.

Often blamed for the rising rates of obesity and diabetes among Black Americans, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s have long symbolized capitalism’s villainous effects on our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

But how did fast food restaurants so thoroughly saturate black neighborhoods in the first place?

In Franchise, acclaimed historian Marcia Chatelain uncovers a surprising history of cooperation among fast food companies, Black capitalists, and civil rights leaders, who- in the troubled years after King’s assassination- believed they found an economic answer to the problem of racial inequality. With the discourse of social welfare all but evaporated, federal programs under presidents Johnson and Nixon promoted a new vision for racial justice: that the franchising of fast food restaurants, by Black citizens in their own neighborhoods, could finally improve the quality of Black life.

Synthesizing years of research, Franchise tells a troubling success story of an industry that blossomed the very moment a freedom movement began to whither.

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