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Saturday, June 15, 2024

For Colored Girls Book Club celebrates Black womanhood

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Gizelle Fletcher is a bibliophile with a love of diverse stories. When she sought out a local book club, she realized most focused on novels written by white authors or men. The few clubs that shared stories penned by Black women all tended to charge membership dues. 

“It is not very accessible for people who can’t afford it,” Fletcher said. “I started (For Colored Girls Book Club) so we can get conversations going and have more visibility in literature. I wanted to create a culture around books by Black women and women of color. Representation matters, and we need to hear our voices more and see ourselves in books and movies.” 

Fletcher feels there are quality books written by women of color, but they don’t often attract much press coverage. It is harder to find a book that reflects one’s culture and experiences if readers don’t know where to look.

“We are Black women, so people don’t like to give us our credit or talk about us, even when we are doing really creative stuff out there,” Fletcher said. “My goal is to push through that noise and show people that, yes, our stories exist, and this is how you find them. This is how we talk about ourselves through literature.”

For Colored Girls Book Club meets monthly at various locations around Indianapolis. All are welcome, but women of color are centered. Last month, the group dove into “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis. Up next on the agenda is “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. While Fletcher has yet to set a date or time for the next meeting, she says emcee and poet Manon Voice will moderate the event.

Fletcher wants to use the book club to teach attendees that Black womanhood is not a monolith. 

“I hope they get exposure to different lives lived around us, and to understand that is not just one way of being a Black woman,” Fletcher said. “There are Black women in the Midwest, in the Caribbean, in the continent of Africa. I want them to get that diversity of understanding.”

Learn more about For Colored Girls Book Club by visiting facebook.com/for

coloredgirlsbookclub.

 

Contact reporter Keshia McEntire at keshiamcentire@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @Keshiamc12. 

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