Intimate Conversation with Daughters of Royalty Book Club

Intimate Conversation with Marilyn G. Diamond
Daughters of Royalty Book Club 

Marilyn G. Diamond, a Sankofa Literacy Society Reviewer began reading at an early age and continued through college reading Harlequin novels. At an early age books became as an escape mechanism for her while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. While working full-time Ms. Diamond raised three boys and other neighborhood children with a strict demeanor insisting on finishing homework and visiting libraries as positive incentives.

After finishing college in Central New York, weather and medical issues bore down on Ms. Diamond, causing her to relocate. She now resides in South Carolina, where she is not only a book reviewer, but she is also vigilantly working on a upcoming novel herself. “Having always maintained a journal there was a great desire to write my book one day.”As a reviewer she takes her occupation to heart. You can find this survivor, reading and reviewing various literature alongside starting a book club and inspiring the upcoming generations.

BPM: Give us the history on your club. How many members do you have? Tell us about the members.
Daughters of Royalty formed and created out of an idea ten to fifteen years ago from two best friends. It has been two years and counting since Daughters of Royalty was formed formally in South Carolina. We have eight adult members and three youth members. Since then, a group of young people have been inspired through the efforts of Daughters of Royalty. Besides inspiration gained from the reading of books by their parents, they have also formed a arts and craft team who create bookmarks from beads.

Marilyn G. Diamond (Facilitator), Fredrinne Green (Vice-Facilitator), Tracy Turner (Secretary), James Washington (Designer and Logo Exec); have currently established as a group that reads and loans books through Kindle amongst each other.  We frequently post our reviews and discuss various books that are read amongst each other. We meet quarterly and plan on sending one of our members to Literary Conferences and Book Fairs as we expand. We also have a member who actively seeks and finds new books and announcements. For the upcoming year we plan to include Skype and conference calls to the executive body as part of our expansion.

BPM: What is the purpose for your organization? Do you host events during the year?

Purposes and services towards Community: Our purpose is to expose and promote all avenues of literature. We feel that literature by African-American authors are not promoted through local efforts as a New York Times Best Seller book should and would be.

BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
We hope to donate five-ten books to thrift stores and Public Libraries that generally do not have the books we as a book club love to read. We hope to promote services towards working with illiteracy clients. Many of our young people are falling through the cracks and crevices of society and are not seeking their GED.

BPM: Has there been a book that helped shape your life?
Books as a group that have inspired us:  “The Bible,” “A Purpose Driving Life,” “Besides the Still Waters,” “Redeeming Waters,” and “One Day My Soul Opened Up” were some of the great novels that have inspired us to continue on in this journey.

BPM: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book? Does the price of ebooks play a big part in the purchase? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
We do not think that digital books will replace hard copy books:  No technology will never replace printed books and we will not stop buying printed books. We try to maintain a balance by reading and purchasing hard copy books. “There is nothing like opening a book for the first time to read.”

BPM: Are you satisfied with the legacy black books will leave our future generations? Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations? 
We as a group are finding upcoming authors are giving away their first books in order for readers to read their continuing work. Upcoming authors also a hard find in major book stores. We have a problem with that; hence why we seek out newer authors in order to give their work a chance for exposure; especially if it is a trilogy.
We are concerned as a group with the independent African-American book stores that are closing. We have as much purchasing power of books as other minorities. However, in some states there are segregated sections in the libraries and bookstores of African-American literature. If a member is in a major metropolitan city we encourage them to visit and support an independent struggling book store.

BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in the novels you read?
We do not feel that African-Americans are being shown in a positive light in regards to Urban Literature:  We do not feel that African-Americans are being shown in a positive light with the Street Urban Literature. We are finding the same plots, themes and repetitive story of drug usage, violence and turning out of young girls and young boys. That is not the legacy that Toni Morrison, Terri McMillan, Be Be Moore Campbell or Walter Mosley gave to us.