Black Excellence: The 8 Black Hands Literary Society and Book Club

During Black History Month, we here at Great School Voices are recognizing the SoBEO Black Excellence Awards honorees. 

These folks and organizations have made an indelible imprint on changing the State of Black Education both in Oakland and nationally. We want to provide you all with opportunities to support their work in any way you can, whether it be through financial support, amplification, or simply learning about what they do and joining their movement. 

The 8 Black Hands Literary Society and Book Club was the National Influencer awardee at the 2022 SoBEO Black Excellence Awards. 8 Black Hands was co-founded by SoBEO co-founder, Dr. Charles Cole, who launched the book club at the beginning of the pandemic. Watch a video of the award presentation here.

What did receiving a SoBEO award this year mean to you? 

This award was so incredibly meaningful because it acknowledges the work we have all done and is pushing us forward to continue onwards. This award tells us that someone is paying attention to how we’ve been impacting others and galvanizes us to work even harder with more cooperation to get more done.

What are the critical aspects of your work that you want to share with our readers? 

We really want people to know that the issues of race, disinvestment, educational battles and so much more aren’t new issues. These problems have been going on for ages and it is time we realize it through reading. We can read about how others have tackled it. We can build our own strategies through the collective knowledge out there. We need to push communities to learn about our own history and how we can change things. Additionally, if ANYONE has ANY issue they need help tackling, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] we love sticky issues and we are here to help!

What is your vision for your work in the coming year? 

We are working hard to build our own stand alone identity as the Literary Society. As a Literary Society, we aim to help more people, venture out to more cities, and equip more families, kids, and individuals with knowledge, strategies, and community to take on problems. We are aiming to head to DC and Minneapolis in the coming future! We plan to continue the Book Club (if you haven’t already, please join us in reading “Pushed Out” by Ryanna Pilgeram,

How can readers best support your work?

We ask everyone to read, read, and read some more! Join our book club. Take what you read and bring it back to your communities, loved ones, schools, and everywhere possible. Additionally, reach out to us: [email protected] we want to hear from you!

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