Blog Post Book Club Literary Criticism

14 book club questions for The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

We constantly see people asking how to drive a book club or which book they could use for a book club! We honestly prefer a book club where the focus of the discussion is social issues of any kind and to educate oneself and help others educate themselves too. 

The Other Black Girl: A Novel
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Hopefully, the topics we cover or discuss are the ones we know about, or at least there is someone more knowledgeable to drive the conversation towards a more inlighted discussion that leads to actions. Remember: going to a book club must be fun. Having a heated back-and-forth is engaging and entertaining while we do it professionally, politely, and as long as we are open to new ideas and learning. 

That said, sometimes coming up with questions, topics, and ideas is difficult when you already have to read the book. However, we enjoy helping you run your book clubs! So fair not! We count on multiple resources like how to pick your bookhow to drive your meeting, and what to ask, and if you need the answers, feel free to sign up for our small plan of Ko-Fi! Here, we have all the answers to the following questions! 

Remember, we do the reading, the recommending, the questions, and even the answers! Sit, read and enjoy!

Note that we read also White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo to guide our train of thought, questions, and some answers. Also, we used some of the interviews that Zakiya Dalila Harris gave in the past about her book to come up with some answers to these questions.

Let’s get technical with this questions!

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  1. What is the definition of subculture and what role does it play within the novel?
  2. What does the novel teach us about Nella’s eagerness to finally have another black girl in the office?
  3. Why do you think that Nella only feels comfortable with minorities?
  4. How is systematic racism seen in the novel or Nella’s workplace?
  5. Why is it that people think they are diverse just by throwing a token here and there?
  6. Is Nella the token of the company?
  7. Where can you see performative diversity in the novel?
  8. Why didn’t the sessions work for diversity awareness?
  9. Why is it so difficult for white people to talk about race?
  10. What role did hair play in the main character’s life?
  11. How is Nella always on her tiptoes when dealing with things related to race?
  12. Do you think that Nella gave up on herself and ideals way before the grease was used?
  13. What do you think about the chemical changes of the hair grease? Is the solution to whitewash black women’s minds?
  14. Passing is important for many people, and it can be positive or negative depending on the community. For example, a gay guy “passing” as a straight guy is positive if your life is at risk, but these actions could be harmful if they come from internal homophobia. So, how is passing seen in the novel?


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