The woman who was the head of the library was there, as was her granddaughter (maybe 12-13 years old) and several of her granddaughter's friends. The branch manager (let's call her C) mentioned that she still had to put on her makeup, which prompted my husband to report that Liz (the friend who had come with us) is a professional makeup artist, and then it worked around to Liz agreeing to do C's makeup, and the granddaughter and her friends went to watch, and they all had a grand time, while I met some of the other people who were gathered to hear about my book.
For a long time, I had been hoping for a larger African-American audience for one of my book events, but now that it was happening, I was a little scared. What would they think of me--a white, middle-class Jewish woman--trying to inhabit the minds and souls and voices of "their" people, meaning the African American characters in my book?
The answer is that they were very receptive and very open to listening and talking and exchanging. I will report some specifics in a future post. Here, I want to mention that one group who came (the library staff actually took a van to go pick these people up and bring them) consisted of women who are visually impaired and belong to a book group at the library (the branch has a large collection of materials for the blind). One of these people was Millicent, and she sat in the front row. Millicent had a lot to say about the ideas in the book, and she is the kind of person who one cannot fail to notice. Here she is in all her amazingness: