Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Like-Minded People.....

With Glory, the founder of Well-Read Black Girl

Y’all, I absolutely love people, and I really hope that I show the people in my life that I value them. Now, I don’t share all of the same common interest with people who are important to me and that is OKAY!  There are things like book festivals, cycling clubs, knitting clubs, scrapbook clubs etc. so that people with common interest can get together and do what they love.

I love me some book festivals, and I would not dare invite a friend along who does not love to hear writers speak, or do not like to talk about books, or do not like to just look at books. Nope, I would not invite a dear, close friend who does not enjoy these things.

You never want to drag someone along who doesn’t share your love for your particular interest, and then there goes your good time. I know when I attend a book event or festival, there will be like-minded people whom I can excitedly stand with in long lines and talk about our love for books and writers.

Now, September in the Northeast is BOOK FESTIVAL SEASON......

Ernest Gaines reading his very own words!

I started the first weekend in September at the National Book Festival in DC where I got to hear The Ernest Gaines, Roxane Gay, Jesmyn Ward, Angie Thomas, and J.D. Vance speak. On top of that, I was excited to have all types of conversations with like-minded folks about books. Y’all, my SOUL was jumping for joy and so were my arms that were carrying a few books that I just had to have!

J.D Vance: Hillbilly Elegy
Jesmyn Ward: Sing UnBuried Sing!
Roxane Gay: Bad Feminist
Angie Thomas: The Hate You Give!

The following weekend, the group Well-Read Black Girl had their inaugural writing event in Brooklyn, and I got on a bus and headed that way. It was like a Sisters' Homecoming; a space for Black Girls to be Black Girls uninterrupted. I mean, the natural hair was all over the place, and there was a lot of hugging, chatting, and laughing going on. I can not even began to explain the joy of being around a whole bunch of my sisters who read and many were aspiring writers. It was incredible to be in the space where accomplished writers like Jacqueline Woodson and Tayari Jones were mentoring and encouraging aspiring writers. I left Brooklyn with more books, feeling fulfilled, and ready to carry on.

My Sisters! 
Renee Watson:Piecing Me Together
Ibi Zoboi: American Street
Jacqueline Woodson: Another Brooklyn

The following weekend I got back on a bus and headed back to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Book Festival. The Brooklyn Book Festival is completely delightful. I mean, like really, really delightful. It is held in a quaint neighborhood, and the author speaking events are held in places like churches and huge outside meeting places. So, the atmosphere was good. I had the chance to hear the Pulitzer Prize Winner Colson Whitehead and lots of other writers who gave me a whole lot to think about. I left with even more books that are also stacked in my house patiently waiting to be touched.

The Colson Whitehead: The Underground

I spent my last weekend in September in Baltimore at the Baltimore Book Festival where I got to hear two of my very favorite writers: Chimananda Adichie and Jason Reynolds. A friend who lives in New Jersey and has read a few of Jason Reynolds’ book, met me at the festival, and we had a delightful day of listening to writers and looking at books. This time, I only picked up one book which has joined the others, waiting patiently for its turn to get a little attention.

Renee Watson: Piecing Me Together 
Leland Melvin: Chasing Space 
Jason Reynolds: Miles Morales

Chimamanda Adichie

If you have a hobby or a something that you love immensely, and your ride or die friends may not share the same interest, just SHOW UP and reap the benefits: sharing love with Like-Minded people!

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