African American Books You Should Read!
How to Start an African American Book Club
Determining the Basics
Figure out where to meet.The meeting place you choose will determine the tone and size of your group. If you plan on keeping it in your home, or among the homes of your members, you should try to keep it a more intimate group consisting of no more than eight people. If you decide to use public space, like a library or a restaurant with a meeting room, you can open membership up to 12 or more members.
Set a meeting time.The meeting time may need to be altered depending on what is most convenient for your members, but having a meeting time pre-determined can give prospective members an idea of whether or not they can fit the club into their schedules. Meeting at night will open up club membership to working parents. Weekends are generally out, though, since most people prefer to have weekends to themselves. If you do choose a weekend day, opt for Sunday over Saturday.
Determine how often to gather.Giving your members a month to read a book makes it easier for busy members to finish the reading, but if you do not mind meeting to talk about the book as you read it, you could try meeting every week or every other week. Just realize that busier members may not be able to make a weekly meeting.
- Make sure to meet at roughly the same time each week or month. For instance, if you only meet once a month, you could hold your meetings on the second Thursday of every month. If you meet twice a month, you could choose the first and third Tuesday of every month. This consistency makes it easier for members to plan around the meeting.
Set a few ground rules to get running.You do not need anything too elaborate or strict. You should consider setting rules about how many meetings members can miss or how often members can show up to meetings without doing the reading first. Exceptions can always be made, of course, but having ground rules will help your members treat the club seriously.
Be prepared to lead.As the founder of the book club, it will likely fall to you to moderate discussions. Make sure that the members stay on track and that conversation does not stray too far from topic. Also be prepared to ask insightful questions to spur discussion.
Determine how exclusive membership should be.As an African American book club, you have the option of limiting membership to African Americans or opening it to anyone who is interested in studying African American literature. Limiting membership may make everyone feel more comfortable and open about their remarks, but opening membership can ultimately provide a greater number of different perspectives.
Ask yourself if you want to limit membership on gender.Having a mixed-sex book club can lead to more interesting discussions, but limiting the membership by male or female can make your members feel more comfortable and may make it easier to choose books that appeal to the entire group.
- Even if you do not put a limit on the gender, book clubs tend to be predominantly composed of females, so you may find yourself being part of an all-female book club without intending to be.
Figure out how many members you want.A group that is too small will not be very lively, but a group that is too large may make it impossible for everyone who wants to speak to get a chance to do so. Typically, book clubs have between 5 and 15 members. Smaller groups have a more personal feeling to them, but larger groups invite a greater diversity in opinion.
Alert your family, friends, and acquaintances.Even if no one you know wants to join your book club, someone may know someone who would. The more people you talk to about your book club, the greater your odds of spreading the word around your community are.
Advertise your new book club.Ask your library, church, or local community center if you can post a flyer on their bulletin board. You can also post an ad on a free online classifieds for your city or community. In your advertisements, specify that you are starting an African American book club and provide an email address or phone number for interested parties to contact you at.
Narrow down your field of interest.African American literature is a broad category. Determine if you are want to cover fiction books, non-fiction books, or both. For fiction books, ask yourself if there are certain genres you want to cover or if any genre is fine. Similarly, for non-fiction books, ask yourself if there are specific categories or topics that you want to include on your book list.
Set the tone.If you want to start an African American book club that promotes books written by African Americans, you can have a light-hearted tone and compile a list of contemporary novels. On the other hand, if you want to use the club to take a serious look at issues affecting African Americans of both the past and present, the books you choose should be more literary, inspiration, or serious in tone.
- If opting for a book club that focuses on African American issues, you may also want to consider whether or not your club should only read books written by African Americans. Authors of other races have also written books dealing with African American issues, and these can be especially useful if you are interested in gauging perspectives of the past.
Search African American book lists online.You can go to online African American book clubs and search their selection, or you can look at blogs, message boards, social network communities, online book lists, and other websites aimed at appealing to an African American demographic.
Contact online African American book clubs for suggestions.There are several notable online African American book clubs. You might be able to contact the person running one of these clubs and ask him or her for book recommendations. If you explain that you are setting up an African American book club in your community, the online club might be more accommodating and helpful.
Video: How to Start a Book Club : How to Start an African-American Book Club
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Date: 07.12.2018, 08:22 / Views: 93142