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New book club focuses on black authors, readers

More than 30 women attended the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club’s first meeting at Bookmarks on Friday, Sept. 6.

New book club focuses on black authors, readers
September 12
01:00 2019

Attention all book lovers and writers! Winston-Salem now has a new book club that highlights black and brown authors. 

The Winston-Salem chapter of the Well-Read Black Girl (WRBG) book club had its inaugural meeting Friday, Sept. 6, at Bookmarks. 

Jessica Blackstock, who coordinated the accreditation of the Twin City’s newest book club, was pleased with Friday’s turnout. 

“I am so excited right now. I didn’t know what to expect. We put out about 20 chairs and had to put out more,” she said. “I hope this turns out to be a monthly book club discussion in which authors attend.”

What originally started as an online community in 2015 which was inspired by a t-shirt, WRBG became a book, “Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves,” authored by Glory Edim in 2018. The book is an anthology of women of color reflecting on the writings of other women of color. The WRGB movement is also a festival that is held annually in Brooklyn, New York. With the installation of the Winston-Salem chapter, the City of Arts and Innovation now has local participation in the national organization.

For its first book club meeting, WRBG of Winston-Salem hosted author Ibi Zoboi and co-authors Maika and Maritza Moulite. The authors emphasized the importance of readers being able see themselves portrayed in books and literature. Being of Haitian decent, each author recalled her own experiences of being Haitian while living in America.

“These stories should be told,” said Maika Moulite, co-author of the newly released “Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.”

“We write these stories so that other black and brown girls can see themselves in books and not just as poor, marginalized characters,” she continued. 

The book club plans to explore books by black or brown authors each month. This year the first meeting was in conjunction with the 15th annual Festival of Books, which is hosted by Bookmarks each year.

The WRBG book club attendees enjoyed a discussion panel, a Q&A session, and book signing and photo opportunities with the authors. The event concluded with old and newly-formed friends enjoying refreshments and exchanging contact information.

“To be able to find a community of black women who enjoy books as much as I do is something I’m really looking forward to,” said Candace Eaton, a new member of the Winston-Salem chapter of WRBG.

The next meeting for WRBG is scheduled for Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Bookmarks, 634 W. Fourth St., #110. Next month’s book is “Red at the Bone” by Jaqueline Woodson, which is scheduled to be released on Sept. 17. The book club is open to women of all races and orientations. To join the WRBG book club, pre-order “Red at the Bone,” or to get more information at https://www.bookmarksnc.org/wrbg or call 336- 747-1471. 

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Bridget Elam

Bridget Elam

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