Intimate Conversation with The Butterfly Book Club

Intimate Conversation with The Butterfly Book Club 

BPM:   Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?

The Butterfly Book Club officially started on May 7, 2003. We are located in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to us becoming an official book club, the founders of the book club (Afonda Johnson and Mala Robinson) discussed books over the telephone. Mala and I would go to the library, choose the same book, and after we finished reading the book we discussed it over the telephone. Over a period of time, we decided that it would be more interesting to start a book discussion group. Therefore, we had our first book club meeting on May 7, 2003. The first book that we discussed was, Reinventing the Woman by Patty Rice.

We currently have seven members. Our officers are: President – Afonda Johnson; Vice President – Danielle McKnight-Zellner; Secretary – Alva Cunningham-Collins; and Treasurer: Shannon Cunningham.

BPM:   What is the mission of the group?

Our mission statement is: “To inspire reading and the discussion of various literary works of African-American authors, while providing an atmosphere that fosters sisterhood and unity.” Our book club is limited to women, but we do not exclude anyone based on her race or color. Our first objective is to promote reading and communication within our organization and our community. And our second objective is to promote unity within our group as well as into the community.

  What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We have our monthly book discussion group on every third Saturday of the month. Each book club member has a chance to facilitate the discussion group. The facilitator chooses the book and hosts the meeting. We have a group of very creative women, so each meeting is different. For example, we have played games that were created from the specified book of the month.

Also, if there was a movie based on the book we would read the book, watch the movie, and discuss the similarities and differences of the two works of art. In addition to our monthly meetings, we go on a yearly book club retreat. We have, within the past few years, incorporated traveling to various cities into our schedule. Also, we have a gift exchange and holiday gathering in December of every year. We have also had a few successful prayer breakfast events, so this could possibly become an annual event.

What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that make a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page?
Some personal favorites of our Vice President Danielle’s are: drama, mystery, humor, and fiction books. She stated that the things that make her remember a book are things or similar events that have either happened to her or someone else; if it was really good it’ll stick with her. I also enjoy the same types of books as Danielle, but I also enjoy the type of book that takes me back in history. There were a few books that two members selected that I really enjoyed. I would have never thought to choose the books myself, but they truly remained on my mind long after I read them. The titles of the books are: The Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

BPM:  How may we find out more about your club? 
Our website address is: