CBL Announces New Monthly Book Club



Beginning April 2020, The Center Will Read and Discuss

The Works of Black Authors Throughout The African Diaspora.

In March, at the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Dr. Brenda M. Greene shared a note of hope to the cultural arts community-at-large. In an open letter to the community, Dr. Greene, the founder and executive director of the Center for Black Literature referenced a cross section of Black artists and public figures to remind us all that: “In this time of despair, we can look to our musicians, artists and writers for sustenance. Our musical and literary artists bring us together and often act as agents for social change.Through their music and lyrics, they highlight critical issues and suggest ways that we can overcome. They are gifted visionaries, who through their insight, give us words and rhythms that feed our spirit and souls.”

That same month, Greene announced the newest program of the Center, the monthly book club. The online book discussion featured Edwidge Danticat’s powerful work, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist At Work.” Though the best-selling collection of essays, Danticat “tells stories of artists who create despite (or because of) the horrors that drove them from their homelands,” the essence of the work focuses on artists who create during crisis.

The inaugural conference call book club gathering on April 29, 2020 was a tremendous success. Danticat made a guest phone appearance to dozens of people who called in from all over the country: New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, Texas, and Massachusetts.

The next book discussion (May 27, 2020) will be Marita Golden’s novel The Wide Circumference of Love. This novel addresses Alzheimer’s and is an 2018 NAACP Image Award nominee and an NPR Best Book of 2017.  It is a compelling story of how an African-American family addresses love, devotion, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The May online book discussion is slated for Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm. Please RSVP via writers@mec.cuny.edu.