Jazzi McGilbert’s Reparations Club is more than a bookstore

A Black joy reading list

Melanin Rich Avatar

Melanin Rich
Feb 07, 2021 · 3 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

For Black History Month, Curology is doing something a little special — we’re celebrating and supporting Black joy. “In Support of Black Joy” will feature stories, photos, videos, and more from Black creators about finding and creating joy.

Reading is not only very cool 😎; education and immersion are necessary tools to create change that can bring about true joy. As part of In Support of Black Joy, Reparations Club has curated a list of their community’s top reads for us.

Black bookshops have always been a place where ideas, activism, history, and education come together to build community. Reparations Club is a Black bookstore and creative space in Los Angeles that fosters community through consciousness.

Visit Reparations Club online or your local Black bookshop to scoop up these reads!

Head over to our In Support of Black Joy microsite to read more about Reparations Club and experience more from Black creators.

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A Black Joy Reading List

To paraphrase poet Lucille Clifton, “let’s celebrate that every day something has tried to kill us and has failed.” If you’re reading this, you’ve made it to 2021, and that’s worth celebrating. Historically speaking, Black bookshops have always celebrated community, history, activism, and the exchange of ideas. Rep Club has continued the tradition, making Black joy and community our business, quite literally. It’s important for us to highlight Black Joy in the historical record. Below are a few books that bring joy to us and a few members of our Rep Club fam. Of course, each of their picks has a permanent home on our shelves (and our website).

— Jazzi McGilbert, founder of Reparations Club

Kai Daniels, Architecture Student

“Black joy, what is there not to say about it? I live it every day and dream about every moment. As an architect in progress, I aim to construct spaces of potential. I often find my inspirations for imagining futures, and the future of Black Joy, in the pages of Dark Matter by Sheree Thomas, a collection of short stories detailing Black possibility. It’s written by voices not always mentioned in the lineage of Black speculative fiction and presents a milieu of alternate worlds to step into. It’s an inspiring book to read and then look up from its pages and realize that Black people are building worlds to experience a similar type of multiplicity everyday.”

The Pursuit of Flavor by Edna Lewis

All we want to do these days is sit around a table full of homies and a home-cooked meal. Miss Lewis, aka the First Lady of Southern Cooking, mixes recipes and techniques with stories from throughout her life and her books always feel like home.

AJ Girard, Art Educator & Curator

As I aim to build more art literacy in my community, Rep Club has supplied some of my best material — most recently Black Futures by Kimberly Drew & Jenna Wortham. As an art historian, I love Black Futures because it continues the scholarship of David Driskell, but approaches art and theory in a way that speaks to this generation’s use of the internet and social media. I love this book because it imagines a better tomorrow.”

To read more, visit In Support of Black Joy.

Melanin Rich Avatar

Melanin Rich

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