U.S. G.I.R.L.S. with Award Winning Author, Tayari Jones
The first quarter of 2018 is starting off with a "bang"!! Two short weeks after our
A-MAZING first meeting of the year, we were on the road for the Savannah Book Festival, held on February 17 in the heart of historic Savannah.. This event is held each year and you can be sure, it will not disappoint.
This year, we were treated to such literary giants as, Attica Locke, and the incomparable Tayari Jones whose book, "An American Marriage" was just named as Oprah's Book Club Selection.
You may remember Tayari Jones from
May, 2011 when she traveled to Amelia Island to surprise JayBee's guest at Mama Francina's G.U.I.L.D. Fancy Hat Literary Luncheon. It was during this event, she met, G.U.I.L.D. member, Celestial and asked her if she could name the main character of her next book, after her. Well, the rest is history!!
Attica Locke woo'd the audience with her stories of racial strife riddled with political satire. It did not matter to her that the majority of her audience listeners were of Anglo-European lineage; she stood in her truth and did not falter. Even when the moderator was ready to close, and JayBee had her hand raised for a question, Attica Locke's insistence that JayBee be allowed to speak was not missed by the masses. She later re-canted the experience at her book signing tent.
After having our books signed by Attica Locke, Tayari found us and agreed to sign our books before the conclusion of her session. This was so thoughtful as we KNEW the line for her signing would be extremely long.
As we were taking photos and looking at books, Bunny Ware, a reporter for "Savannah Now" asked for our photo. She even captured the title photo of this Blog. She later explained that she wanted to show the diversity (or lack thereof) at the book festival. She wanted to know what she could do to change the perceptions of book clubs as (direct quote) "...not being for elderly white women anymore..." Alright Naw Bunny, tell me how you really feel. Here is the link to the published article.
The next author to speak with Rickey Smilley. He was entertaining with his interjections of comedy as he discussed the life-lessons in his book
We also ran into well-known and respected author, Tina McElroy Ansa, who resides on nearby St Simons Island, GA
On March 3rd, it was a beautiful day for the Jax Book Fest. I don't know what was more exciting...collectively wearing our "Vanity" T-shirts designed by Valerie or meeting author,
Kimberla Lawson-Roby. Well, all kidding aside, we received soooooo many compliments on our shirts,
and that gave us so much "book club" pride (Thanks, Val!!). As one Instagram Follower stated: "...you ladies look like a force of nature. Here's to strong women!" Speak Follower, Speak!!!
We all had various local authors we wanted to meet, so we agreed to meet in the auditorium for
Kimberly Lawson-Roby at 1 pm.
As we took in all of the books authors and presenters, we came upon local authors, Kenneth Thomas (Given Not Taken) as well as Angelia Menchen (Glowing Embers in a Dying Fire); both of whom we have met and read in the past. We were also excited to interact with the authors of Twilla's book selection for April (Charna Flennoy and Delphine Maiden), "Breakfast At Epiphany's".
Bonnie had to leave before Ms. Lawson-Roby's presentation, so we were amazed when she agreed to take this photo prior to taking the podium. This just really solidified what a gracious author Ms. Lawson-Roby is. She even expressed her appreciation to Bonnie for selecting her book multiple times during her rotation.
After Ms. Lawson-Roby's session, we purchased books for her to sign and had a photo opportunity with her. She thanked us again for the signature U.S. G.I.R.L.S. Tote that we mailed to her in December and how she had not visited her mailbox in a month and was so excited when she saw the gift.
What an awesome day and literary experience. Our Black is Truly Beautiful!