Black Girls Book Club: Black Girls Are Magic Brunch (Americanah)

Hey guys, I hope you’re all doing well. I’m excited to bring you all up to speed about what I got up to at the weekend so let’s get straight to it.

As I write this, I’m buzzing because I’m still on such a high from the event I attended last Saturday – The Black Girls Book Club Presents: Black Girls Are Magic Brunch. I’ve always wanted to be part of an intimate community like a women’s book club so when I saw a tweet promoting this event, especially for black women, I knew I had to go.

There aren’t many spaces like this where black women can come together to network in a safe haven, empower each other, discuss amazing literature and just unapologetically be! But just FYI:

“Whilst the black girls are magic brunch is celebrating black women it is open to all who wish to attend. However, please be aware that our mission is to create a space which allows black women to come together on a positive vibe and we won’t tolerate any individual who seeks to derail that. BGBOOKCLUB is a judgement free zone and as such as we want to create an environment that allows them to be great, open and honest without any fear.” – BGBOOKCLUB

So to clear things up, everyone is most definitely welcome.


I paid £30 for my ticket to the brunch. I’ll be honest, I felt uneasy about this price at first (as you guys should know by now, I’m all about saving £££). But upon reflection it was completely worth it! My £30 was very well spent because it included:

  • A copy of Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie conveniently posted to my door
  • Brunch
  • Drinks
  • Such a thoughtful goody bag
  • (Great company too! #blackgirlmagic)

Once the secret location of the brunch was finally revealed, I was excited: Corney & Barrow Paternoster Square (St. Paul’s, London). 


I arrived (slightly late… yes) and was met with a warm reception and great vibes from the outset. There were peach bellinis, prosecco and mimosas on tap and conversations were flowing. I especially loved the amount of attention and care that went into the presentation of the tables. Along with the glorious goody bag, every attendee received a handwritten personalised card and food menu.

The goody bag had lots of samples from cocolemuk, puriskin, premaeskincare, ORS Haircare UK, black|UP Cosmetics and more. We also received a Black Lives Matter badge by the lovely @AndGloTweets [get yours here: paypal.me/blmbadges/3], a little bottle of Echo Falls wine, a planner (which I really need!!) as well as a mixtape CD which I’m excited to give a listen.



Thankfully I knew a handful of people attending the brunch already (shout out to Zainab, Kitan, Esmé, Lara and Moyo, Susy) but I definitely met so many amazing women. It really wasn’t that scary talking to a room full of strangers because surprisingly everyone was so chatty. Honestly, it was refreshing. That settled any nerves I had about awkward small talk.

How cute is their Snapchat filter!

Being that this was promoted as a “brunch & booze” style event, I had high expectations for the food. I pre-ordered the full English breakfast as the menu was sent out a few weeks prior to the event (I’m telling you, the event organisers Natalie and Melissa, are so efficient). Brunch did not disappoint! It was delicious… although I would have loved a couple more sausages as they were particularly nice 😉

Brunch was followed by tea, coffee, cupcakes and a lighthearted interactive quiz based on the facts of Americanah. Let’s just say I didn’t score too highly… but the well deserved winner received the October edition of the UK’s first monthly subscription box curated for women of colour, My Ebony Box.

Source: myebonybox.com

We then eased into the main event – discussion of Americanah and the many issues and complexities which the book raises. There were some really thought provoking questions and opinions thrown out. Some of my favourites were:

Is there a danger of the discussion around black hair in the book being taken for gospel?

What role do our parents have to play in preparing us for fitting in/assimilating? Are they to blame for us not knowing our mother tongue?

Ifemelu’s character is criticised or judged harshly for her arrogance and unapologetic sexual promiscuity.  Had she been a male character, wouldn’t we just say she’s “confident” and that’s all?

We talked about so many issues ranging from race and identity to warped marriage aspirations and hair politics. Just in case you’re wondering, generally I enjoyed Americanah. Adichie’s writing style is very gripping and descriptive. This was my second time reading Americanah because I borrowed it last year (Thanks Tani!). However, I will say that the ending is highly frustrating and at times I felt the level of description for insignificant characters was unnecessary. It is also a little bit long in my opinion but that’s probably just because I’m a slow reader anyway. It’s definitely a good read and I won’t ruin it for anyone who is yet to read it.

Overall I’m happy to say that I truly learned a lot from the room full of knowledgeable black women. I could relate to some of their experiences and it was liberating to be able to discuss such topics freely. I’m already looking forward to the next Black Girls Book Club event which I hear is in January 2017. To stay up to date and be in the loop make sure you follow them:

Instagram: bg_bookclub

Twitter: bg_bookclub

Snapchat: bg.bookclub


Have you read Americanah? What did you think of the book? And what are your thoughts on the issues raised regarding assimilation, parental responsibility and confidence vs arrogance in our discussion above? Let me know in the comment section below. 


“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”‭ –‭ Romans‬ ‭14:19‬ ‭NIV‬

 

God bless you!

Wunms.


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A 22-years-young Christian, Law graduate, trying to navigate life through Christ. This blog is partly a self-development project, but also I just want to inspire us all to do what we're supposed to be doing. I pray that you are blessed by this space! - Wunms.

26 thoughts on “Black Girls Book Club: Black Girls Are Magic Brunch (Americanah)

    1. It really was! January’s book is Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Haven’t read it in 5 years so I’m excited to reread it with fresh adult eyes.

      You should have a google, you never know what might be hiding underground in your local area. Or.. set it up yourself! 💖🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great blog Wunmi, the ending- I grew to like Ifemelu in the states and found her observations have me a useful insight, I tired of her character at the end I think, I still admired her confidence but I found her too selfish. I first read Adicie about 3 years ago having seen her on C4 news and knew I would like her books. Is Ifemelu arrogant, probably, is she confident, yes, she is also very resilient which I like, life is hard and all too often short so I don’t judge her actions as promiscuous but I do get that it’s different from that of past generations. I like that, and in the end it’s her choice. I think the film will be out sooner than you think I read Lupita Nyong’O will play Ifemelu, a great choice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment Gavin 🙂
      Like you, I have mixed feelings about Ifemelu’s character. I found her confidence was sometimes self destructive but I did admire her general self-belief and the fact that she kept up a blog (like me!) is cool too.

      I agree.. life is hard. Which is why I don’t judge some of her life choices either. Characters must have flaws to make their stories believable/relatable anyway.

      I’m excited to watch the film and see how they bring the characters to life. Lupita is a very talented, versatile actress – would love to see her play Ifem.

      (Also, to clarify why I thought the ending was disappointing.. well I just sympathised with Kosi and Buchi because everything became about the love story. Obinze making the choice he did will affect his family greatly (although I appreciate the need for a romantic conclusion etc)).

      Thanks again for reading! I always appreciate your feedback 🙂

      Like

      1. I’m also really happy that I can use this platform to bring positive light to these sorts of events. Lots of my readers have messaged me to show an interest in attending the next book club event, which is great! Can’t wait.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting to know why you found the ending highly frustrating (without giving the plot away). I found Ifemelu’s behaviour at the end of the book unacceptable, I liked her early confidence (life is short IMO) and I admired her readiness to express her opinion in the states refreshing. I grew to admire her character in the states and her resilience and rooted for her even when she was short of money and Adicie dealt with her “issues” when short of money sympathetically. So was this arrogance always there? Yes but when it mixed with selfishness on her return to Nigeria I just rolled my eyes . Of course my perspective will be totally different to yours and I am thankful to Adicie for bringing Nigeria to life, although I appreciate she writes from an Igbo perspective and I like that she is proud to mention this when being interviewed. I hope you enjoy future club meetings and I am sure your enthusiasm for the event on here will encourage anyone who is undecided to give the club a try. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww I know how you feel, but I thought it was worth the risk and it paid off thankfully. What reservations did you have about the event?

      Perhaps you can attend the next one!

      Thanks for reading 🙂 xx

      Like

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