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.

Brown Girl Dreaming

Bookcover

April 11, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. - Publisher

Gal

Bookcover

March 14, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Gal: a True Life by Ruthie Bolton: Ruthie Mae Bolton was born January 6, 1961, in the Hungry Neck section of Charleston, South Carolina. At the time, her mother was thirteen; she has never known who her father was. Her mother was the wandering kind, so Ruthie Mae--nicknamed "Gal" by her stepgrandfather--was raised in her grandparents' home. One day Grandmama died as a result of a severe beating by her husband--it occurred to no one to call this to the attention of the authorities--and Gal was left in the brutal hands of her granddaddy, who beat her unmercifully as well. Ruthie Mae began to steal things in school and she developed a stutter, she drank, and smoked dope. But she stuck resolutely with her education and graduated from high school, which was likely her salvation, for today Ruthie Mae is happily married, with children and a fine job. At last she is at peace-with herself and even with the memory of her grandfather. It is nigh impossible to convey the astonishingly eloquent simplicity of Ruthie Mae's witnessing to her time. Here is an absolutely remarkable document, as touching as it is painful, as ageless as it is timely. - Publisher

Long Division

Bookcover

February 14, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Long Division by Kiese Laymon: Kiese Laymon’s debut novel is a Twain-esque exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in Post-Katrina Mississippi, written in a voice that’s alternately funny, lacerating, and wise. The book contains two interwoven stories. In the first, it’s 2013: after an on-stage meltdown during a nationally televised quiz contest, 14-year-old Citoyen "City" Coldson becomes an overnight YouTube celebrity. The next day, he’s sent to stay with his grandmother in the small coastal community of Melahatchie, where a young girl named Baize Shephard has recently disappeared. City’s two stories ultimately converge in the mysterious work shed behind his grandmother’s, where he discovers the key to Baize’s disappearance. - Publisher

Driving the King

Bookcover

January 10, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

Driving the King by Ravi Howard: Told through the experiences of Nat King Cole's driver, Nat Weary, Driving the King is a daring and brilliant new novel from award-winning writer Ravi Howard that explores race and class in 1950s America. - Publisher