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How An Afrowomen’s Reading Group In Scotland Uses Reading & Strategies of Learning As Self Care

We are a small group of women of African descent living and working in Scotland. We have been reading together for over a year. The majority have migrated to Scotland within the last 15 years. 

We connect through WhatsApp and meet monthly to explore literature and other media in a safe peer-supported environment to articulate our experiences. This helps us develop and inform more meaningful, critical and effective approaches to navigating the racism and racialising structures that surround us.

We are sharing one of our strategies to navigate the spaces we find ourselves in. We first read together and then we decided to write together. We view this as an act of self care, strengthening our voice and learning.

We began by reading the Penguin classic texts available for £1 – Audre Lorde, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House; James Baldwin, Dark Days; Chinua Achebe, Africa’s Tarnished Name; Martin Luther King Jr, Letter From a Birmingham Jail; Ralph Ellison, The Black Ball and then Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark – each of her three essays were for a different monthly meeting. We have such little time and so many demands on us, the cost and length of each book were intentionally kept small.