Go On Girl! Book Club has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1991. The co-founders Monique Greenwood, Lynda Johnson, and Tracy Mitchell-Brown turned their office chat about the latest offerings from Black authors into formal book discussions. Tracy and Lynda were reading and discussing Stephen Corbin’s No Easy Place to Be and Monique wanted to know what they were discussing. Tracy and Lynda told her to read the book so she could join in. It was Tracy who suggested they get a group of friends together to start a book club. They never imagined it expanding beyond their immediate circle of girlfriends.
At the end of the Club's first year, Evalyn Rose Hamilton relocated from New York to her native Washington, D.C., and the second chapter of the Go On Girl! Book Club was born in 1992. Since 1992, more than 40 chapters have sprung up across the country in much the same way — started by former members relocating to new cities or by members' relatives and friends in other or the same cities. Currently there are more than 400 members in cities across the country. Our members range in age from twenty-something to sixty-plus, and they have varied professional backgrounds and personal interests.
Also in 1992 the organization hosted an Author Awards event with a one-day event where they honored an author of the year (Gloria Naylor for Bailey’s Cafe) new authors of the year (Barbara Neely for Blanche on the Lam and Barbara Summers for Nouvelle Soul), and publishing company Beacon Press. In 1993 this one night event became a full-fledged weekend event.
In 1995, the Club became a legally incorporated non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Also, that year Essence magazine ran an article on the book club reflecting the high level of interest in reading among African-Americans. More than 300 women wrote the organization requesting information on becoming a member or how to start a chapter.
Local chapters began hosting informational literary mixers across the country in 1996 and still do today. These mixers allow interested women to learn about the organization and form their own chapter or join an existing one. It is because of these mixers our membership grew from 12 chapters to more than 30.
2000 ushered in writing scholarships to unpublished writers and students studying at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
2004 the organization formed an Executive Committee to work with the National Board of facilitators to work on the guidance and growth of the organization.
2012 the GOG anthem was written by Philadelphia members Gloria Hall and Patricia Douglass and put to music by Alonzo Wright
Our Go on Girl Anthem, sung by member Kelli Sanders Jennings from NJ1.
Key among the Club's goals is encouraging the continued publication of works by authors of African descent. The reviews to the authors and their publishing houses ensure the club's message is heard:
"African-Americans do indeed read, so keep the quality books coming.
This is not just a trend!"