We are excited to announce a brand new book club at BookPeople! Thanks to the American Booksellers Association, we’re one of many stores launching a Well Read Black Girl Book Club! The first meeting will be April 22nd at 7pm to discuss N.K. Jemisin’s How Long ’til Black Future Month. Check out the note below from Raven and Fiona, who will be leading the club!
Hello, I am Raven and I want to start off by expressing just how excited I am to start some great discussion’s around the words of some incredible women of color! Representation through media is a non negotiable expectation for me at this point, but that was not always the case. As a Black girl growing up in North Texas, I allowed my insecurities of wanting to fit in with kids around me to majorly contribute to actions that disguised the beauty of my ethnicity. Through it all, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a nose in a book or when I wasn’t watching a new episode of some popular Friday night show with friends.
When media’s reflection of our world becomes abundantly clouded in regards to POC trends and experiences, ignorance becomes the underlining tone behind the words we read. Story’s bring focus to small visions within much bigger universes; we can feel love, nostalgia, humor, anger, melancholy, and so much more through strong narrative, but unfortunately most are expressed through a singular voice. I found it to be so discombobulating as a young girl wanting to be so much a part of a society that doesn’t even work to include me. As I continue to grow as a woman and intellectual striving to keep all races and genders a part of the conversation, I have realized how much more personal growth is required. What I know now as a whole, is that women are incredibly strong in their endurance to overcome the pain and lack of acknowledgment faced throughout history.
Fiction should never circumscribe the experiences of a character but work to break down the hidden walls and limitations to make something new. As the years continue to pass us by and contemporary books inherently become classic works, diverse voices should be weighing down the shelves! The world we live in is colorful and loud and unapologetic in its fight for inclusiveness. Lets be a part of that push for acceptance and read some amazing novels in the process.
My name is Fiona and I’ve been working at BookPeople since October! One of the things that feels so exciting about being a part of/co-facilitating the Well-Read Black Girl book club is that it acknowledges the vast amount of literature by people of color available to us. While highly revered, it’s important for a bookstore (a literary refuge/haven/space of learning) to move beyond the four or five authors that are in our collective memory. It’s necessary to acknowledge and affirm that writers of color theorize, speculate, imagine and dream of possible futures; re-write pasts; and defy easy labels or categories. As a queer black woman that has sought our representation beyond common narratives of blackness displayed by media and literature, I’m excited to help offer a space for people to grapple with these stories and visions. I’m eager to foster a space where we can parse through/complicate race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. Finally, I’m stoked to work through the technical and lyrical mastery of genres and forms by these different artists within our BookPeople community!
Join Raven and Fiona for our very first Well Read Black Girl Book Club on Monday, April 22 to discuss How Long ’til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin.
May’s pick is Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi.
June’s pick is The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison