I Hate Black People

Seriously. No, I don't want to be in your bootleg book club. After my fabulous book club at home, I'm very very picky. I'm picky anyway. But after seeing how a fun, successful book club can work, I want another one. I'm tempted to go to Pitt to join one of theirs. If I can find one that meets on Wednesday or Thursday night, I'm there.

Look at this book club invite I got today for "Manna: Soulful Intellect."

Two groups:
"What is Christian Fiction?Christian Fiction books that include realism and themes that involve Christians dealing with actual current problems that they encounter in today's society.
What is Urban Fiction?As a rule, urban fiction portrays African-American protagonists (often anti-heroes) coming of age and trying to survive in a hostile environment with positive outcomes. The Soul Pitt also wants to use the Urban Fiction group as a platform for adults and young adults to speak about subject matter they relate to and encourage group discussions. Hopefully we can challenge the community to face the issues and not fall victim to them. "
Nice enough concept. Definitely not my cup of tea. More on that later.

Now look at the "Urban" selection:
"Hope Evans is an eccentric college student, born and raised in Miami’s notorious Pork and Beans Projects. All her life, Hope has dreamed of becoming a lawyer and one day helping her people out of ghetto oppression. By some uncanny fate, Hope meets the handsome thug, Life, in the midst of his desperate attempts to elude a massive police manhunt. Their brief encounter leads to a liaison of lust and passion, but with vast differences they soon part ways.
Years later, Hope and Life meet again on opposite sides of a courtroom. Life, one of the biggest drug kingpins in the United States, is on trial for his life. On the other side of the courtroom is Assistant US District Attorney Hope Evans, who is holding a deep, dark secret. The infamous kingpin, Life, is the father of her child.
Adult/Young Adult Discussion Topic: Why do good Girls fall for Bad Guys?"

GET the hell out of here. Really? REALLY?! Huh uh. Do we really have to read b.s. like this? There are plenty of Black writers out there who are writing about something other than the PORK AND BEANS PROJECTS!! With characters named Hope and Life. This is not Who Moved My Cheese?, a book whose charm I never got. We already know how I feel about education and reading. Wise and her readers made some interesting comments on the state of black fiction as well.

"Dues for the book club will only be $5.00 per month (paid in advance). This will be used to defray the cost of attending and hosting book club events. It will be for things like food, bookmarks, and bringing in national authors. The first dues will be in the amount of $10. $5.00 will cover the Oct meeting and the other $5.00 will cover the next meeting. This way you will be ahead. "
I'm not totally opposed to this idea. Our book club was rotated at people's houses. Everyone lived in that neighborhood at first, but me and Mommy. So we could do that with a small group. Who really wants to regularly invite a bunch of strangers into their homes? No one. So the dues are not a bad idea.

My book club...
I was the youngest person by at least 20 years. My aunt and her friend started the book club in their neighborhood. There was me, Ann (my fave, 50 yo white woman from GA. We were always HERE), Aunt Louise (55 yo black woman), Rosetta (60+ yo black woman whose 5-star chef husband cooked themed meals coinciding with whatever book we were reading), Mommy (50 yo from Mississippi), Sharon and Sandra (both 50+ black women). I can't remember several of the other people's names because they didn't come as much. A young Indian woman came once or twice. She was around 30. There is one woman whose name I can't remember and its really bothering me because she was so nice, came a lot and hosted. It was great fun. Every month one person chose a book and hosted the meeting. When you hosted, you chose the next book. The only requirement to host was wine. You had to have wine. Didn't matter what kind or how expensive, as long as you had at least 2 bottles.

The thing I enjoyed most was the fact that because of the different backgrounds and ages of the book club members, we had a range of book choices. The one whose name I can't remember was one of the first to start with the theme. We read Angels and Demons, so she had angel food and devil food i.e. angel food cake, deviled eggs. It was very cute. I read so many books I never would've read, but really enjoyed. The Secret Life of Bees was one of them. Angels and Demons was another. Lovely Bones. Cane River. I didn't always like the books though. Ann picked some 500 page book none of us read. I can't even remember the name of it. Lol. She was so disappointed. Poor thing. I suggested one of my faves Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They didn't like it that much but I didn't mind. The Seven People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom was fair. We also watched it together when the movie came on tv shortly after we read it. The Poisonwood Bible, The Hot Flash Club were pretty good too. I think we agreed not to read The Notebook. I was one of the loudest objectors. Most of us had already read it anyway. Hated that book. Too sappy. Before I got there (I joined after I graduated from Hampton), they also read The YaYa Sisterhood which I loved.

I was afraid to join the book club. Temptation by fellow Hamptonian Victoria Christopher Murray was the first book we read. The plot was incomplete to me. I thought they wouldn't value my opinion because I was so much younger. But they actually enjoyed my presence. It gave them a different view on the book and the world. Aunt Louise, the retired teacher, was our secretary.

Just before I moved here, the book club began to break apart. The newer members stopped coming. Ann moved to Georgia. Aunt Louise and Rosetta moved to Sun City, SC near Hilton Head. Then I moved to Pittsburgh. But its a good thing the book club began to dissipate. It would have been one of the hardest things for me to leave.


Anonymous said...

and she preaches to the choir again.

Why do all the women i love hate black people?

I have no beef with urban fiction as a concept. My beef is the urban fiction I read SUCKS loudly and juicily. The US DISTRICT ATTORNEY CANNOT HAVE A BABY BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD NINO BROWN.

that is absurd on MANY levels.


so let it be written, so let it be done.

ONLINE book club. Thats all im sayin.

Adei von K said...


we have to read a recreational reading book in my RED 4519 class... why did the class vote on Eric Jerome Dickey's "Chasing Destiny"? I raised my hand and said (with the saddity voice mind you), "I don't read things like that, can we have some World Lit?" You are NOT going to try my life with foolishness written down...Life and Hope. Please.

Ummm, I thought you were going to get on the myspace book group which Darius Lovehall is seriously holding up...

CNEL said...

Book clubs seem fun.

I wish I had time to read a book for pleasure.

I have been taking notes on some of your book selections, I picked up " A Place of Our Own".

the joy said...

i'm gonna read this book, slow like jazz, soon as i buy it. i hate to say that i tend to stay away from black writers. they tend to evoke a 'cred' they try to earn by insulting my intelligence.

i loved lovely bones. i read her second book too, lucky. the first 11 will piss you off though.

Anonymous said...

I would love to participate in a book club. I just dont know any near my college. None of my friends do either.

Dreamlover said...

That excerpt from the second book had me LOL, please tell me that is NOT really a book?

Please. Please.

Madam DLBG said...

I'm tired of these "urban" african lit books blowin' up !!! I mean, some of them are cool, but dayum, must EVERYBODY think this is the stuff all blacks young adults want 2 read? Can we not expose the,m to something deeper?

My friends and I started our own club. The September book is "Tryin to sleep in the bed you made" by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, when u get a chance, check it out, one of my alltime favs.

@Stacie...ditto on the "Chasing Destiny", that was some bs, I'm just sayin...

Jam, run like hell to the nearest online club that suits u!!!!

Adei von K said...

Ashli, I'm going to invite you to my bookclub over myspace!!! And then there were three...

Jameil said...

dp...isn't it nice when people do a little research? ugh. and i'm scared of an online book club.

stace... you are so stuck up. i don't think you and darius lovehall are interested in the kinds of books i am. y'all are about expanding your minds etc etc. that's good and all but w/as much death as i see (i've spent nearly the entire last week on what feels like non-stop coverage on the death of pittsburgh's mayor), i have no desire to be forced to read "deep" nonfiction. see it everyday.

cnel... how do you not have time to read for pleasure? just read before you go to sleep. that's craziness. the only way i don't have time is if i'm unable to stay awake.

ash.. how adorable would that be? but i want an in person book club. it makes the books come alive more. we're too loud to be able to all get on the phone at once. no one would hear anything.

joy... i don't avoid black fiction but i'm very discriminate. i think i'll go check out lucky.

epsi... if you and your friends want one, why not start one. i'm sure on a college campus you could just put up a sign right?

dream... oh yes. its real.

madam.. i mean seriously. EJD is not the only black writer. and if one more person tells me how great zane is i'm going to scream.. loudly. i'm moving to NOVA to join your bookclub. already read that book. it was pretty good.

stace... don't be comin over here solicitin!!

So...Wise...Sista said...

Now you KNOW how i feel about this. And I am guilty of slacking with the blogger book club...of which I am still skeptical. But we'll see.

Yo, you dont have your email on your profile, but I got a question for you. sowisesista@aol.com... and that email is open to anyone else who randomly feels like telling me I suck, or something of that nature. ;)

Adei von K said...

remember when the author of 'who moved my cheese?" came to hampton? and the 20 questions in the newspaper asked, "who DID move my cheese?!" LOL
i love 20 questions

Jameil said...

wise... scared of net book clubs. can we connect? i mean i know i was the one talkin about lets get up on it. so make it happen you slacker!!!!!!!!!!

stace... HAHAHAHA!! i don't remember that but it is hilarious! go 20 questions! yay!