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Well Read Sistas: meet the woman promoting Black women authors and Black stories year-round

Black Owned Newspapers And Blogs

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By Nadira Jamerson, Word in Black It’s been 73 years since Zora Neale Hurston’s essay “What White Publishers Won’t Print,” ran in the Negro Digest. As Hurston explained back in 1950, even though publishing houses “are in business to make money,” they don’t publish “romantic stories” about Black people “because they feel that they know the public indifference to such works, unless the story or play involves racial tension.”& All these years later, people may name-check Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler, but the vast majority of work by Black women authors — romance writers or otherwise — goes unacknowledged.& That’s why New York City-based community leader and book lover Ari Gibbs created Well Read Sistas, a virtual and in-person space where folks can come and support not only established but emerging Black women authors.& “There are other people writing,” Gibbs explains. “Who are they? What are their stories? I think it’s important to be humanized in different ways and have different premises and different genres. There were a lot of slave stories — which are important — but that’s not the only thing Black women are.” Lately, she’s been recommending Alyssa Cole’s 2020 thriller “When No One Is Watching,” and&...