Booked for Brunch: Books, Food & Sisterhood

Booked for Brunch: Books, Food & Sisterhood

Sunday, March 15, 2020

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IN Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics American author, professor, and social activist bell hooks writes: “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” In explaining the social impact of patriarchal hegemony, hooks stresses, “As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realised.” In celebration of sisterhood and International Women's Day 2020, National Commercial Bank and NCB Jamaica Limited, in association with the Jamaica Observer, invited over a dozen women to read some of their favourite books over brunch at an event dubbed “Booked for Brunch.”

Held at the AC Kingston, each #BookedforBrunch guest brought either her favourite novel, what she is currently reading, or a book that allowed her to transform some aspect of her life. The assortment of books ranged from inspirational/self-help to memoirs written by powerful black women. Fun fact: there were two copies of Michelle Obama's Becoming in the room.

But in a culture where so many women have (seemingly) effectively broken the glass ceiling, why was Booked for Brunch an important event to host? In the words of Jamaica Observer Senior Associate Editor Lifestyle and Social Content Novia McDonald-Whyte: “Being a part of conversations like this is important for the building up of women.” It wasn't that the event was an elevated kaffeeklatsch. Far from it. But instead, it was a dialogue about the realities of being a woman in the workplace, the perceptions of motherhood, and the cold hard truth about pay disparity.

Over a three-course brunch, each woman read passages from the book that she brought with her and elaborated on its resonance. Newly-minted COO of NCB Capital Markets Tracy-Ann Spence's read a few passages from Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. However, the shortest delivered the most forceful punch: “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way, and I work really, really hard. Don't call me lucky. Call me a badass.” Oh, and yes, there, too, were books written by men.

NCB Group Marketing and Communications Manager Nichole Brackett Walters read from The Greatest You: Face Reality, Release Negativity, and Live Your Purpose by former American footballer Trent Shelton. Annya Walker, vice president - strategy, projects, research & structured products, NCB Capital Markets, read from both Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. And, NCB's Head of Private Banking Audrey McIntosh read from The Ring in the Rubble: Dig Through Change and Find Your Next Golden Opportunity by Gary Bradt.

SO looks forward to more events like Booked for Brunch that celebrate free-thinking, encourage women to live the best versions of themselves, share tools to move to a higher echelon, and champion equality and sisterhood. American writer, professor, editor, and social commentator Roxane Gay said it best in her collection of essays Bad Feminist: “When you can't find someone to follow, you have to find a way to lead by example.”

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