The Women of Brewster Place was our General Track read for June 2020. A majority of our book club members had seen the critically acclaimed miniseries that debuted on ABC in late 80’s, but for many, this was their first time reading Naylor’s debut novel. Gloria Naylor does a phenomenal job at highlighting interpersonal relationships between Black women of all ages and backgrounds and community organizing. These themes touched on what was happening last summer and provided us an insight into what community building can look like. Bry Reed, a member of the #SmartBrownGirl Cohort, drafted the syllabus as part of our book club commitment to provide access across knowledge bases.
While the miniseries holds a special place in many of our hearts, we also enjoyed learning more about the importance of community through this book during an extremely arduous year. Here is what some of our book club members had to say:
Community in Brewster Place – This novel was heavy, but so eloquently written. Naylor painted a picture of the trauma, resilience, and community of the women of Brewster Place. It highlights many things that Black women have faced and continue to face in America, much of which, Black women are saying right now in 2020. Naylor highlights the overarching theme of intersectionality, hauntingly, yet beautifully. Black women, putting their bodies on the line, and are comforted and protected by other black women, while also facing trauma from others in their own community. This was my introduction to Gloria Naylor. I will most certainly be reading more of her work. – Beatrice