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Allen Eskens explores racism in mid-1970s Missouri in "Nothing More Dangerous," this year's Capital READ title at Missouri River Regional Library.

Avila Hendricks, Lincoln University professor of education, will use the book to point out vulnerabilities that make some youth more vulnerable to hate, rhetoric and recruitment during a lecture at the library in Jefferson City on Thursday.

"What happens when the natural human tendency to divide is exploited by adults looking to recruit and radicalize our youth during an era of converging social crises?" the MRRL website asks. "Extremists are seeking to use 'hot-button' issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests in ways that threaten the cohesion of American Society."

Hendricks' presentation, which will be 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at MRRL, 214 Adams St., will conclude with practical advice to parents and teachers on how to talk to children and teenagers about acts of violence and the issues of radicalization and extremism, the website says.

The Capital READ title is a book MRRL features each summer during its summer reading program. Last year's title, "Fast Girls: a Novel of the 1936 Women's Olympic Team," followed three trail-blazing women as they broke social and cultural barriers.

Eskens is to be at the library 7 p.m. Sept. 30 to discuss his book.

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