"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you read the new black "lit"?

I put "lit" in quotes because I don't see Zane and all that prison/oversexed/down low/gotta find a man or dog a woman stuff as literature. Admittedly, I've never read Zane. Maybe it's good. But the titles and the cover art aren't saying "good writing, good information" to me.

A few years ago I joined a book club. It's a group of professional young ladies of varying ages and rather then spend time at meetings choosing books, we assigned a meeting leader for each month at the beginning of the year and that person chose the book. Most of the books we read were progressive, many were nonfiction, quite a few examined issues in the black community and all of them expanded our minds and sparked discussion.

We often tried to pair an activity or guest with the book we were reading. For example, when we read one book, we had a henna artist come in and apply tattoos similar to those mentioned in the book. When we tackled a book that focused on religion and faith, we had a minister come in and discuss it with us. When we had a relationship-focused book we invited men in to help discuss issues raised in the book.

Needless to say, I really loved this group, but as people moved on and lives and schedules changed, the group has changed. And as the group has changed so have the book choices. This month they are reading a Zane book. I'm not going to this meeting. While I understand we can't always read heavy things I find it hard to believe there weren't other choices between the Bible and Zane.


  1. I've never read any of those books either. I find them to be a waste of brain cells. But that's just my opinion.

  2. Anonymous5/02/2009

    I stopped reading a lot of black literature, save horror/sci fi and Af-Am history a long time ago.

  3. The Crisis featured a piece last year about the new "Urban" fiction - how these books are making more money than Toni Morrison or Alice Walker...


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