Students searching for a place they can be themselves and engage in profound conversation need look no further.
Located in the Black 2 the Basics bookstore in the Tiger Village, a book club has become a hub for thought provoking discourse among Gramblinites.
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m., the club explores history, culture, and philosophy from an Afrocentric perspective. The minds behind this movement belong to the organization known as “a Safe Space”, which is dedicated to creating a judgement-free and intellectual environment where students can express themselves, learn something and value mental wellbeing.
Safe Space has events every evening, providing students a chance to talk about topics relevant to the Black Community, read Black literature, and enjoy art, music and culture.
Other daily events include “Mental Health Mondays”, “Wellness Wednesdays” and “Freestyle Fridays”.
The book club is currently reading When God Was Black by John Brinson, a novel exploring the ancient origins of cultures and religions around the world, and how each can trace its roots back to Africa.
The book challenges Black people to question what they thought they knew about history and to find the godliness within everyone.
Promise McCree, one of the founding members of the book club, shares her thoughts about the novel.
“So far the book has become a favorite among students and even Alumni have taken interest,” She said.
McCree said that the book opened her eyes to some of the principles she was taught and how some people may know about Black culture and history, but will not be able to understand the experience.
Many of the students in the club have been able to gain new insights and perspectives in the same way.
When God Was Black is certainly one of those books which will spark a complex conversation, encouraging students to express themselves and weigh in on the topic. Discussions like these are needed on HBCU campuses, and Grambling is lucky to have Safe Space operating as the vanguard of this movement.
The benefit to campus is that Gramblinites get the chance to connect with each other, whilst engaging in thoughtful conversation, and adding to the collective knowledge and culture of the campus. The more students who join in on the conversation, will then lead to a more unique perspective. So, the club invites Grambling students to come through and share their thoughts.
When asked about the importance of groups like these on HBCU campuses, Promise responded.
“There are so many topics that you would have to read to figure out. And that’s important because as Black people, we don’t know enough about our history and our culture. It’s important teachings that we should know,’’ McCree said.
Promise McCree along with Viontre Petty, Martavious Ellis, Kinaya Washington and many other insightful Grambling students make up the Safe Space family.
They invite all students interested in stimulating their minds to come check out the Tuesday Thursday Book Club as well as all the other daily gatherings in the Black 2 The Basics bookshop in the Tiger Village.