Meet Ireland's Black Queer Book Club

The Black Queer Book Club is a community-led collective and safe space based in Ireland created by Black queer people for Black queer people to read, discuss and grow in a friendly and supportive community.

Split screen of three of the members of Black Queer Book Club
Image: Instagram @black.queerbookclub

The Black Queer Book Club was started last autumn, at the height of the Covid pandemic to provide a much-needed solace for the Black queer community and POC allies. To this end, we created a space where our narratives are given due consideration.

To do this, we aim to promote and source works by Black queer people as much as possible or if not, works by Black people. Since last autumn, we have met monthly, reading a great range of works from fiction to analytical reads.

Some of these reads include Fresh Water by Akwaeke Emezi, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Demarginalising the Intersection of Race and Sex an essay by Kimberle Crenshaw, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House an essay by Audre Lorde, Lote by Shola Von Reinhold, Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola, and we are currently reading Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez.

In the future, we hope to have the resources to curate a community library that will stock exclusively Black content. This is in recognition of the fact that libraries are communal spaces. They also serve an educative function, not only because of the books that are housed in them, but because of the capacity for the community who frequents them to learn from each other, which has always been a priority at our book club meetings.

We also aim to have our ear to the ground, which means listening to what our community needs from us and showing up, starting with Black History Month, which lies in October in the UK and Ireland.

For Black History Month, we have organised an Intimate Night event on October 23 which will take place in Connolly Books. This get-together will showcase and celebrate Black people that have contributed to the landscape of Black art and culture in Ireland.

Our intention is that this event will highlight local Black queer talent and give our community the opportunity to have fun and meet other Black queer people. Our lineup that evening will range from musicians to storytellers including;

Feli Speaks: A Nigerian-Irish poet, performer and playwright from Co Longford, based in Maynooth town. www.felispeaks.com, Instagram: @felispeaks

Cami: A Dublin based rapper with an EP titled Neon being released on Spotify in October. Instagram: @cvmumusica, Soundcloud: cami, Spotify: camiii.

Diana Bamimeke: A writer and independent curator from Dublin whose practice encompasses writing, activism and programming. Instagram: @dianazepam.

Fay Antar: A visual artist, animator and filmmaker. Instagram: @punkleos Sebai: A photographer and visual artist from Mayo and currently based in Dublin. Instagram: @dubhmedia.

And many more… Tickets are still available so please do register for a free ticket, if you are queer and Black, for what will be an exciting night! We also welcome any additional support. Allies can either share this event and book club information, support a QPOC to attend the event by donating to our Paypal, or donating to Trans Safe House for Imo State in Nigeria.

You can follow Black Queer Book Club on Twitter, Instagram or email [email protected].

This article originally appeared in GCN issue 368, which can be read in full here.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

This article was published in the print edition Issue No. ( ). Click here to read it now.

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Issue 368

This article was originally published in GCN Issue 368 (October 1, 2021).

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