Friday, June 5, 2009

Meeting New Friends, Graham DeGroot, Book Expo America with Suny Press

Since the publication of Go, Tell Michelle, we have had myriad beautiful experiences, many of them through meeting people from diverse backgrounds. One of the most interesting people we met at the BEA was Graham DeGroot and I sure hope we have his name spelled correctly as he wanted to make sure that we pronounced it correctly. We were signing books at the SUNY Press autographing tables at the Expo when we spotted a pair of very bright and exciting eyes peering at us from behind eye glasses perched ever so carefully on a serious little nose below a mane of light brown hair. It was Graham DeGroot who never took his eyes off of us while he waited to get a signed copy of Go, Tell Michelle. He was getting the book for his mother. We told him we hoped he would read it first to see if he would recommend it to his mother. He pondered for only a second before he said that he would be the first reader. That’s where the fun began. He seemed so excited about the book that we invited him to take a photo with us. We assured him that we would post it on the GTM Sisterhood Network blog. He agreed as he came around the table to join us. We gave him our blog address and asked him to visit and leave comments about the book. We are not sure of his age but we think he is about 11-12 years old. He left the line and took with him a real bright spot in the autographing experience. But we were enchanted again. Graham had returned. This time he stood holding his little red camera in the air to show us that he had returned to document this experience for himself.

It was a great treat to see him again and in so short a time. Again, when he got up to the signing table we told him how important it was that he read the book and understand what African American women had to say to the First Lady of the United States. He was even more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. We told him to tell his friends and we encouraged him to set up his own blog and to link it with the GTM Sisterhood Network blog so that we can stay in contact. We look forward to this connection. He nodded in agreement. This was an exciting time for us because we also want young people to be able to read this book and to have a chance to see and understand what African American women have to say about this historic moment in our history. So, when we return to Buffalo and update the blog we will be waiting with baited breath to hear from Graham and we will keep you posted. P.S. Graham if you have a better photo, please send it to up so that we can replace this one. Peggy Brooks-Bertram

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