The Free Black Women's Library Reading Challenge
Throughout 2021, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity is partnering with Office of Multicultural Affairs and Raven Book Store to uplift the voices of Black women, femme, and nonbinary writers by participating in The Free Black Women's Library (TFBWL) Reading Challenge.
TFBWL is a social art project and interactive installation that features a traveling collection of over three thousand books, as well as monthly free public programming that explores a wide array of themes, subjects and ideas that explore the intersections of race, gender, art, class and culture. The mission of this project is to center and celebrate the brilliance, diversity and creativity of Black womanhood. Every year, TFBWL curates an annual Reading Challenge to encourage people to read more books by Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people.
Our TFBWL 2021 Reading Challenge Video Series — a series of live readings featuring Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people affliated KU reading — airs biweekly on Tuesdays at 12 noon on Instagram @kuetcwge. Engage with these live videos on Instagram by liking or commenting, and we will enter your name in a raffle to win a copy of the book featured in the video. Videos are subsequently archived to ETCWGE's YouTube Channel.
On January 18th, OlaRonke Akinmowo (she/her), creator and director of The Free Black Women's Library, joined Bulaong Ramiz-Hall (she/her), director of Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, in kicking off our The Free Black Women's Library 2021 Reading Challenge Video Series with a conversation about TFBWL on Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Call for Readers: Fall 2021
Since January, we have aired our TFBWL 2021 Reading Challenge Video Series biweekly on Tuesdays at 12 noon. We will continue to offer the series through the summer and into the fall semester, ending on 12/28.
We invite Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people affiliated with KU – including students, staff, faculty, and alums – to join us in The Free Black Women’s Library 2021 Reading Challenge by choosing and reading excerpts from a book of their choice that qualifies as fitting within the following remaining categories:
- A romance or erotic novel
- A book that centers relationships between women
- An award winning novel and/or classic
- A book that classifies as Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, or Fantasy
- A graphic novel or series of comic books
- A book set in your hometown
- History, Historical Fiction or Slave Narrative
If you would like to volunteer as a reader, please use our sign-up sheet to pick a reading category (1 per person) and book title.
We will purchase four copies of your book of choice:
- One as a gift to you, our reader
- One to raffle off to a person who engages with your video on Instagram
- One to add to ETCWGE’s Dr. Toni Morrison Memorial Library with a book plate that honors you as our reader
- One to add to OMA's library with a book plate that honors you as our reader