Name: Glory Edim
Location: New York
How We Know Her: Glory’s Well-Read Black Girl book club created a movement around our books, our voices and one of our favorite pastimes.
Why We Chose Her: She’s created a platform for Black authors and space for readers to connect.
What’s Next: The Well-Read Black Girl hosts its third annual festival in Brooklyn this November—it’s even added a second day for children’s authors.
Glory Edim’s Well-Read Black Girl (WRBG) is a book club that has morphed into a multi-platform network. The very first WRBG book club get together was in September of 2015 and about 10 people showed up to share their thoughts on The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson. And they kept coming and coming to her events, which are still warm, intimate (about 30 or so folks) chats with Glory engaging fellow bookworms and making sure everyone’s voice is heard in the discussion.
For many, it was the first-time black women authors were the center of the conversation. Others were drawn to new names they were exposed to in black literature. And others simply many relished seeing themselves on the pages of layered stories. While the Virginia native hosted these important literary events, she wondered how to flip being a book lover who influenced by like Audre Lorde, bell hooks and Toni Cade Bambara into a full-fledged career move. The former Kickstarter strategist would’ve been happy with just a newsletter, book chats, and an Instagram account, but after putting black women at the center of much-needed book discourse, the universe pushed the writer to find her purpose: “uplifting the narratives of Black women.”
Fast forward three years and WRBG boasts more than 200K Instagram followers, an annual literary festival in Brooklyn, New York and a book, the Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves. The Washington Post called this collection of essays featuring heavyweights like Tayari Jones, Rebecca Walker and Jacqueline Woodson, “ a dispatch from the vast and wonderfully complex location that is black girlhood and womanhood.”