Book club takes man's view

March 08, 2001

An interview with Charles Fleming, co-founder of Tehuti Book Club.

How did your club get started? A friend of mine who worked with me, whose name is Bobbe Frasier - we started the club. ... We wanted to have a men's book club. We just felt like men have their own perspective on things, and we wanted to deal with that perspective.

What book are members reading this month? For March, we're having a joint book club meeting [with a women's book club], and [the women's club] selected the book, and the name of that book is "Men Cry in the Dark" by Michael Baisden.

Are there any books that club members have especially liked? Our first meeting was Sept, 22, 1996, so we've been together, like, four years. The first book that we read, the book by Reginald Lewis, who is from Baltimore - he owned Beatrice Foods and his book was "Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun" - I think everybody enjoyed that book. They liked, I think, the fact that Reginald Lewis was a very hard-working and committed person, and it came through in his book and also that it was a very positive book about a black man. Another book that I think everybody really liked was "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison.

Have there been any books none of the members have liked? No, but there's been a book that has been very difficult, and the name of that book was "Omeros" and the author is Derek Walcott and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. But I mean, it was very difficult to read, but we struggled through it.

So you read both classics and current books, fiction and nonfiction? Right. Whoever is hosting the book club - we meet at each other's houses; we meet the third Sunday at 3 o'clock - selects the book, and it can be anything he wants to pick: poetry, novels. We've read biographies. One guy in the club is really into jazz, so he selected the autobiography of Miles Davis. ... The men are very committed. ... When the book club starts at 3, first we discuss the book and then we eat - the host prepares some food - and then we discuss whatever, you know. What I mean is that it becomes a time for us to bond. Sometimes we don't leave until 7 or 8 o'clock.

To join Tehuti Book Club: Charles Fleming, 410-655-9082.

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