Last week, I had my first reading at Greenlight bookstore, which happens to be my local bookstore. It was a warm spring night, and I walked over from my apartment, trying to shake the nerves and excitiment. It’s an odd (and dreamy) experience to have your first reading somewhere you spend so much of your time. On some of my worst days, I’ve walked into Greenlight looking for a bit of peace and hope on a shelf. When editing Woman Of Color, I spent many nights at the cafe across the street with music in my ears.
I wore a denim dress and orange tutleneck from Theory Of Gaia, a store owned by my friend Hamacha. It’s located on Ludlow street, and its concept of non-sizing and effortless style is what I’m always drawn to. In an effort to celebrate the many women who make up this community, I am wearing women of color designers and shop owners for most of my book events.
The room was full, and I felt balls of sweat drip down the back of my legs while reading from my “Baldy Bean” chapter. (I give a headwrap tutorial at the end of that chapter!) After reading, I got to sit down and talk to my friend, Julee Wilson, who is the Global Beauty Director at Essence. I first met Julee when we were both pregnant around the same time. Her son Orion is just a few weeks younger than Oak.
The room was full of friends and family. There were a few people that even walked-in from the street!
I would look up in-between reading and stumble or giggle, because the room would expand ever so slightly. It blew me away. The room was just so beautiful and the energy was powerful.
I really couldn’t have asked for a better night!
I’m so thankful that many of my friends, readers, and family were able to come through. Thank you Greenlight for hosting and Julee for joining me in conversation, and The Good Batch for the delicious treats we enjoyed that evening.
Next Wednesdy I will be at Word in conversation with Glory Edim (on writing and coming into your own) and on Friday, I’ll be in Los Angeles! I’ll be in conversation with Erica Chidi Cohen on birth, bodies, color, and womanhood. .
(Photography by Nicole Mayhorn for LaTonya Yvette)