In celebration of Black History Month, Parsons Public Library will host a book discussion of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27. Stan Basler will lead the discussion.

The novel was published in the summer of 2016. It won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, and was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. Amazon Prime Video has produced a series based on the book. The story follows Cora and Caesar, slaves who escape a cotton plantation and head north. In Whitehead’s conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

Basler is the pastor of Hamilton Chapel United Methodist Church. He is an ordained elder (retired) in the United Methodist Church. He is also a retired attorney and former Montgomery County Commissioner.

For six years, he served as Visiting Professor of Restorative Justice and Prison Ministry at Saint Paul School of Theology and for 20 years was an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law. For 16 years, he was an instructor at Saint Paul School of Theology Course of Study School. He taught courses in restorative justice, church mission, systematic sin and leadership. For 13 years, Basler practiced law. For 18 years, he served as Director of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries, Oklahoma Conference, United Methodist Church.

He and his wife, Janet, live on a farm in rural Galesburg.

Copies of The Underground Railroad are available for checkout at the library. Parsons Public Library is located at 311 S. 17th St. For more information about the event, contact the library by calling 620-421-5920.