A Place Where Black Authors And Readers Connect
Clubhouse is the social media platform that everyone wants an invitation to but only a few can get a hold of (for now). The audio-based app that started off as the cool place on the net to talk now has an investment valuation of 1 Billion (it’s still in the beta phase btw with no official website).
When you finally get the golden ticket and join you have access to a bunch of rooms with a slew of topics ranging from hearing men moan–yes moan, to rooms that help you become the next billionaire. Somewhere in between, there are some really cool rooms that educate or entertain you.
As Clubhouse grows so does the variety of topics, I have been in rooms where people hosted live readings from their favorite books, and rooms where authors hosted book discussions.
Midnight Mafia Has Entered The Chat…
There is something special about being part of an invite-only app and finding a gem (a room) that only a few people know about.
Clubhouse arranges your homepage so that the rooms listed first are based on your preferences OR the rooms people you follow are currently in or hosting.
When I first discovered the Midnight Mafia room, it wasn’t titled or I didn’t read the title, either way, I had no clue what I was jumping into.
One night or should I say early in the morning (2 am) I got on Clubhouse thinking maybe the men moaning are up trying to pay their car notes and would keep me entertained–they weren’t.
I scrolled and noticed there were several authors I followed all in the same room, my initial thought was, “Why are they up this late?” Yes, I’m that person who comes on public transportation when it’s not rush hour and complains if there are too many people…because why are they here? Meanwhile, I’m here too.
So Who All There???
Upon entering the room I immediately realized this was not a room for authors alone, readers and authors were on stage talking.
And both authors and readers were asking each other questions. To be clear, it’s not the typical “When did you realize you wanted to be an author?” or “What qualifies as a five-star book to you?”
Their questions were raw, direct, and respectful. The reason the room captivated my attention was because of the power dynamic.
The organizers are authors, readers, and reviewers. Now how many groups, clubs, or organizations do you know of where the power dynamic is leveled?
Dietra, (an avid reader), Essence (an avid reader), Lenika, (an avid reader), Shay, (an avid reader), BrittNee Chanel (founder of Urban Book Junkie), Val (Brwn Sugar Reads), Britt Joni (author), Kema B. (author), Sabrina Scales (author), Storm (author), Miesha (D.M. Time Book Club), and Dwinique/Chaunee (author & D.M. Time Book Club) are all founding members of Midnight Mafia-Books & Tingz.
I asked author and founding member, Britt Joni about the creation of the room she said, “We saw how organic our conversations grew once we allowed each other space to see all sides of the literary industry. We received three perspectives, the reader, the reviewer, and the author.”
She continued, “Instead of creating a divisive environment we reached deep and listened with the intent to understand rather than listening to respond.
We give authors the space to find new readers, and readers along with bloggers have the chance to meet new authors. Collectively, we just want to educate and bridge that gap between the three for open communication. So all parties can be happy and not feel so misunderstood or divided.”
What Time Do They Link-Up?
You might be thinking “I’m active on Clubhouse, and I’ve never seen this group.” Remember when I told you I was up at two in the morning? While you don’t have to get jumped in to join the gang, you do have to be awake long enough to catch the group.
If you go to sleep at a reasonable hour–you will never catch this group. That’s one of the dynamics I like about the group, the time when they meet alone makes everyone comfortable.
When asked about the meeting time Joni responded, “Simply put, insomnia. We all couldn’t sleep and would find ourselves coming together on Clubhouse every night and it grew from there.”
The group has a Q&A portion where readers can ask authors questions and vice versa. They host author interviews, they reserved a night for book readings, and they discuss hot topics. They also share resources and provide each other with moral support.
Oh, and they fight–a lot–over book baes of course.
But Before You Go, Know This…
They are with the shits. No, not the drama, gossip, and mean-spirited talk, they are cool. But don’t go in that room thinking you are going to get First Lady and the leader of the Girl Scouts.
If I had to describe the room: It’s the favorite Aunt’s house, you know the auntie where all the cousins want to go because she is cool and lets you cuss a little? Yup, her.
She knows everyone and they know her. When you go, you already know there is a good chance she is going to call you a motherfucker in one breath and give you a bible verse in the next.
She’s warm, welcoming, the food is always good at her house, and you never want to leave.
The Midnight Mafia crew is all of that and so much more, I urge the Black literary community to take note because we can do more together than we can apart. And this group is proving that.
You: Sis, I’m Not On Clubhouse BUT I Want To Be Part Of The Mafia…
No worries, Midnight Mafia has a group on Facebook that runs just like their room on Clubhouse, join HERE.
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