African American Authors Book Club

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m.
At the Athens-Clarke County Library

The African American Authors Book Club is for anyone who is interested and who loves to read. The books are selected by members of the book club and are primarily books written by African American authors. Our objective is to broaden our knowledge of the many African American authors and their writings and just have fun reading.

Is it just me?

Bookcover

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Is it just me? Or is it Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg: Have you noticed that things aren't as civil as they once were? Or that rudeness is no longer an exception but a lifestyle? Sure you have. All you need to do is set foot outside your door to see that bad manners are taking over everywhere. People are yakking on cell phones in restaurants, even at church. Folks in carpools wear enough cologne to make our eyes bleed. Complete strangers think it's OK to rub a pregnant lady's belly. Passengers abuse flight attendants, family outings to the ball park are ruined by rowdy drunks, a congressman heckled the President of the United States. Well, the author, a well-known comedienne and film star has noticed all this and more and asked herself, "Is it just me?" Unleashing her trademark irreverence and humor, her new book of observations takes a funny and excruciatingly honest look at how a loss of civility is messing with the quality of life for all of us. So if your pet peeve is folks who talk in movie theaters like it was their living room, or if you get bugged by people clipping their nails and performing other personal hygiene next to you on the bus, or if you cringe when "please" and "thank you" get replaced by "gimme" and "huh?", you have found a kindred spirit. The author has witnessed the growing disrespect and rudeness in our lives and realized she is not alone; and, as you'll discover in these pages, neither are you. - Publisher

Bailey's Cafe

Bookcover

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor: In post–World War II Brooklyn, on a quiet backstreet, there’s a little place that draws people from all over--not for the food, and definitely not for the coffee. An in-between place that’s only there when you need it, Bailey’s Cafe is a crossroads where patrons stay for a while before making a choice: Move on or check out?

In this novel, National Book Award–winning author Gloria Naylor’s expertly crafted characters experience a journey full of beauty and heartbreak. Touching on gender, race, and the African American experience, Bailey’s Cafe is “a sublime achievement” about the resilience of the human spirit. - Publisher

Picking Cotton

Bookcover

Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton: Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken-- but Jennifer's positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars. After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face-- and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.

In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness. - Publisher

Angel of Harlem

Bookcover

Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Angel of Harlem : a novel based on the life of Dr. May Chinn by Kuwana Haulsey: A gifted, beautiful young woman in the 1920s, May Edward Chinn dreams only of music. For years she accompanies the famed singer Paul Robeson. However, a racist professor ends her hopes of becoming a concert pianist. But from one dashed dream blooms another: May would become a doctor instead–-the first black female physician in all of New York.

Giddy with the wonder of the Harlem Renaissance and fueled by firebrand friends like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, May doggedly pursues her ambitions while striving to overcome the pains of her past: the death of a fiancé, a lost child, and a distant father ravished by the legacy of slavery. With every grief she encounters, a resilient piece of herself locks into place. At times risking her life–attending to men stabbed in their homes and women left to die in filthy alleys–May struggles to carve out a place for herself within a medical world that still teaches that a “Negro” brain is not anatomically wired for higher thinking. Yet against the odds, she achieves her goal, starts her own practice, and becomes one of the first cancer specialists in the city.

Alive with the pulse of black unrest in 1920s New York, this beautifully textured novel moves with fearlessness and grace through a history that is by turns ugly and sublime. With Angel of Harlem, critically acclaimed author Kuwana Haulsey gives poetic voice to the story of a remarkable woman who had the courage to dream and live beyond her era’s limitations. - Publisher