The text for this 7-week study group will be Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston by Mary Barr (University of Chicago Press, 2014). On the book’s cover is a 1974 Nichols Middle School graduation photo of her thirteen friends — male and female, black and white. Barr discusses how these young people’s lives developed within the context of Evanston’s race and class divisions. Published forty years after the photo, the book both offers the deeply personal story of this group of friends and analyzes the history and social structure of Evanston, Illinois, the community where they grew up. Barr traces the history of Evanston from its mid-nineteenth century founding to the mid-twentieth century when 16 percent of the city’s 80,000 inhabitants were black and lived predominantly in a segregated community on the city’s west side. She also analyzes how Evanston’s belief in the community’s “successful” race relations was shattered after the events of the 1960s and 1970s brought the issue of civil rights to the fore. The twin narratives of the fate of a group of middle school friends and the social evolution of a community deeply divided by issues of race combine to tell a powerful story.