October-November Selection

Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair

For our October/November selection, we’re reading Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair. This is the first book we’ve selected written by a Black author. Have you noticed that we’ve had conversations about race and been able to see racial ideologies in books written by white authors? Mine and Cha’s intention is to show what reading is like for us! As Black women, in order to see ourselves in books that are overwhelmingly written for white readers, Cha and I have learned to see ourselves in stories. We hope you’ll be able to see yourself in this story. In fact, we’re sure you will. So get the book and start reading! 

We’re giving you a huge period of grace to read the book. As women who have mothered little ones, been the sole caregivers and breadwinners in our homes, we know finding time to read isn’t easy. But that shouldn’t exempt anyone from the joy of talking about books! Also, we want loads of women to read this book! So, this book discussion—just this one—is open to non-paid-subscribers. Please invite other women to join by signing up for a free subscription. They won’t receive any of the paid content, but will have access to the book discussion, podcast and Monday Whatevers. The weekly bible study is strictly for paid subscribers to whom I am so very grateful. 

Look for new prompts for this book. This time around there will be a challenge, a biblical character sketch, and a giveaway, as well as discussion questions. 

Please don’t panic about keeping up with the reading. This is meant to be fun! I want you to read, but more importantly, I don’t want you to stress about your life.

On the week before Thanksgiving, my beautiful and vivacious co-host Cha Sears-Barefield and I will host an Instagram Live to chat about the book and announce our holiday plans for our book club. 

Cheers. 


ABOUT THIS BOOK: 

Published In: 
2007

Genre: 
Coming-of-Age Novel

Setting: 
Chicago’s Southside mid-to-late 1960s 

What’s the Big Hook:
“Stevie” finds her voice and identity following Dr. King’s assassination.

Interesting Fact:
It’s being made into a movie starring Gabrielle Union and Octavia Spencer.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
From Goodreads: April Sinclair was born and grew up in Chicago during the times of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. As a young black woman during and after these times, she began to take advantage of her experiences, along with her artistic talents, to become an active member in her community. She has worked for over 15 years in community service programs, has directed a countywide hunger coalition, and has taught reading and writing to inner-city children and youth. 


WHY ARE WE READING THIS BOOK? 
We’ve read coming-of-age stories written by white female authors – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Both were wonderful and delightful. But let’s broaden our point-of-view. Plus, I just really agree with what Academy Award Nominated actress Octavia Spencer said:There are so many unheard stories and voices in the African American community that speak to universal themes and the humanity in all of us.”


THEMES WE’LL UNCOVER

  • Colorism  

  • Girlhood and Adolescence in the Bible

  • Community

  • Natural Hair 

  • Identity

  • Sexuality

  • Self-Care

  • Self-Actualization

  • Classicism 

  • Popularity 

  • Whiteness 

  • Rites of Passage

  • Comparison & Peer Pressure

  • Change

  • Family

  • Frienship