During a 7-day hospital stay (which we will address soon), my bookmark remained, hopelessly, at page 29 of Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage. Every time I’d pick up the book to read, someone would come to visit or I’d fall asleep. And other times, with my book across the room, I’d have to wait for someone to unhook my IV at which point—at long last, free from liquid-pumping bondage—I’d run and pee and then (because, such is life) forget to grab my book on the way back. I gave up on the task, in retrospect, way too easily.
At the end of a Book Club Influencer panel, I approached Glory Edim—founder of the Well-Read Black Girl universe and—leaving all professional agenda behind—stuck out my hand and said, “I’ve just always wanted to meet you.” Can you blame me? Glory’s busted the entire world of well-read black girls wide open, promoting black women writers and creating a community for girls like her (like us). By doing this out of her sheer love of books, she’s revealed to publishers the value of black women readership. Naturally, her Instagram is booming with 68K followers (because, if you didn’t know: we show up where we’re represented). This brand of black girl magic is so pervasive that the likes of Lena Waithe was caught wearing a Well-Read Black Girl tee-shirt in her Vanity Fair feature.
Don’t side-eye me, book lovers and publishing folk, but I spent almost all of 2017 hoarding books and not really reading any of them. On one such book-hoarding occasion, I got to hear Gabrielle Union speak about her memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, at an event sponsored by CBS University, the CBS Diversity Counsel, and the CBS Women’s Networking Group. I walked away with a free copy signed by Gabrielle Union herself, right before my eyes.
Khaled Hosseini Announces New Book omgomgomgomg A post shared by Khaled Hosseini (@khosseini) on Feb 21, 2018 at 7:57am PST 50 Beautiful Book Covers Featuring Black Women #RepresentationMatters Aubrey Plaza Teases Second Season of LEGION WTF did I just watch??? LEGION 🖊 SEASON 2 📌 FX @LegionFX pic.twitter.com/IPPDQvXMdG — Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) February 20, 2018 Black Panther Looks and the Traditions That Inspired Them We’ll never be done with Black Panther Quinta Brunson to Star in CW Pilot Black Girl Magic Phoebe Robinson on Desus and Mero Black. Girl. Magic. Watch Black Panther Director, Ryan Coogler, Break Down the Casino Scene It’ll blow your mind.
Early, early one morning, I was called to get my hair braided on the roof of my aunt’s house. I didn’t think twice. I grabbed my sister’s book: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. As the sun rose, you could hear calls for prayer, vendors opening, people rising for work—the usually bustling town picking up where it left off the night before. But I was engrossed in this book, the dazzling rendering of this beautiful story of brotherhood and redemption. I was 19. That was the first book I remember experiencing.