Noname is so cool. The rapper born Fatimah Warner bubbled up out of Chicago, and as her star has soared these last few years, she’s used her platform to lift up other POC creatives — extending a hand to help them climb the same ladder that’s led to her stratospheric career.
Last year, Noname decided to start a book club. She calls it “reading material for the homies.” The lit community was at least partly inspired by the artist’s entrepreneur mother, Desiree Sanders, the first Black woman to ever own a bookstore in Chicago — which is really, really rad.
In practice, Noname’s Book Club highlights two books written by authors of color every month and facilitates online and IRL meetups for members to discuss the monthly picks “in a safe and supportive environment.” There are currently six local book club chapters (but plans for continuous growth) and Noname is raising funds to send the monthly book picks to incarcerated folks. The whole endeavor is community funded on Patreon, where you can join Noname’s Book Club with a $1, $5 or $10 monthly contribution.
The club has been ongoing for nearly a year now, with impressive growth. Last month, the first incarcerated chapter of Noname’s Book Club met behind bars at SCI Coal Township state prison in Pennsylvania. The group’s facilitator, Dawud, picked one of the book club titles for March: Love With Accountability: Digging up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse by Aishah Shahidah Simmons.
Over the weekend, Noname’s Book Club announced another exciting development: the launch of a newspaper titled Out of Print, featuring original artwork, essays and reading notes from outside contributors and incarcerated book club members. All of Noname’s $10 patrons will get the exclusive paper for free. Now please excuse me, while I go sign up for the book club S.T.A.T.
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