By GENELLE LEVY via https://hellogiggles.com
Glory Edim has always sought refuge in the pages of books, but for years she struggled to find a platform that showcased the work of the black women authors she loved and grew up reading. So in 2015 she launched Well-Read Black Girl, a Brooklyn-based book club and Instagram page that highlights books written by black women authors, ranging from literary masters like Zora Neale Hurston to promising debut authors like Naima Coster. The @WellReadBlackGirl online community has since amassed a loyal following, leading Edim to launch the Well-Read Black Girl literary festival in 2017. The second annual festival takes place November 10th and will feature authors such as Jacqueline Woodson and Blair Imani.
Edim shows no sign of slowing down. Today, October 30th, she debuts her first book, Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves. The anthology features a collection of essays by black women authors describing the first time they encountered a character who looked like them in literature. Some recount how the words of black authors provided clarity and a path to self-discovery, while others examine the legacy of creating work that elevates black voices. The responses are poignant, especially because black characters are still wildly underrepresented in fiction, with only 1 percent of children’s books showcasing a black main character.
We spoke by phone with Edim, who is currently in New Orleans working on her upcoming memoir, about the importance of spaces that celebrate black women’s work and give voice to their experiences, as well as her plans to grow …