Founding of The Literary Club

Founding of the Literary Club

The Literary Club aka “TLC” is a literary social organization founded by Roberta Gamble and Vanessa Stovall. TLC first met in 1995 in Detroit, Michigan, at Club AJV, a 1940’s vintage restaurant in Eastern Market.

Vanessa-Stovall Co-Founder of TLC

The meeting detailed organizing a women’s book club to enhance reading and discussion of relative topics. Key ingredients were having a shared love of books, a commitment to reading the books and attending the meetings.

The fact that Detroit’s public school system gets such a negative rap on literacy, it is noteworthy that our literary organization got its start here in Detroit by African American females from various professions.

TLC has been a rewarding experience since inception. The members have bonded and maintained lasting friendships. The meetings are always lively and engaging. The creative flair of each of the hosting teams sparkle ranging from dressing as book characters to serving delicious meals inspired by selected book titles and settings.

It was not a coincidence that Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years was a book selection. We traveled to New York to see the Broadway Musical “Having Our Say”
and held our book club meeting there, engaging in a weekend of fun and shopping together.

We also traveled to Atlanta for a weekend with TLC-Atlanta which included a joint book club meeting and seeing the play “Dream Girls” with Jennifer Holiday.

Other memorable occasions include travels to Chicago, Winston Salem, North Carolina to attend the National Black Theater Festival and to Martha’s Vineyard.

The experiences and memories continue as new TLC Clubs expand around the globe.
Since the original club of 24 women other TLC book club chapters have formed locally and in other states.

TLC Original Members

Paulette BoggsJo Coleman
Beverly Cousin Valerie Crump
S. Hatcher Gena Edwards
Roberta Gamble + Joyce Hart
Deirdre Henry Cecelia Kelly
Robin McFerrinDiana Mercer-Pryor
Glenda MinorEugenia Payne
Dianne Ramsey Melva Ross
Judy SimsJoan Smith
Dawn Spencer*Vanessa Stovall +
Jackie TaylorSylvia Turner-Hollifield
Loretta WatsonDeirdre Wolff
Founder +
Deceased *

Nine clubs currently exist:

TLC (First Club-Detroit)
TLC2 (Detroit)
TLC3 (Detroit)
TLC (Atlanta)
TLC (Ohio)
TLC (Mississippi)
TLC (Florida)
TLC (Indianapolis)
TLC (Texas)