Earlier this month, The Book Look traveled to the elegant Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, NJ to celebrate with the Bibliophiles, an African-American reading group, in honor of their 25th anniversary. Amidst the sweeping, panoramic view of the New York City skyline, Book Look correspondents Charisse Carney-Nunes and Sadeqa Johnson, mingled with the Bibliophiles and their guests, including authors Nell Irvin Painter (The History of White People), Benilde Little (Good Hair), and Valerie Wilson Wesley (The Tamara Hayle Mystery Series), NJ State Senator Ronald L. Rice, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Historic Preservationist and Rutgers Professor Dr. Clem Price, and a long list of Who’s Who in the NJ political, social/cultural and literary community.
And there was much to celebrate. The Bibliophiles are the oldest, continuously operating, incorporated, Black book club in the United States. Founded in 1987 by Joyce Harley and Sheila Baynes, and incorporated in 1990, the Bibliophiles was born out of a mutual interest in sharing, promoting, and preserving the literature of the African Diaspora. These dynamic sisters consider themselves keepers of our culture, so it was only fitting they celebrated their anniversary by honoring four women they bestowed as “Culture Keepers” in their community:
The Book Look was excited to capture this historic celebration. Enjoy a few brief scenes from the day’s events! If you like what you see, and you want to find out what these intellectual sisters are reading, visit their website.
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