Love 'The Golden Girls'? Authors for Black Voices auction prizes from 'You' series, 'Crazy Rich Asians' writer and more pop culture gems

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read
From left: Betty White, Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan star in "The Golden Girls." (Photo: Touchstone Television/courtesy Everett Collection)
From left: Betty White, Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan star in The Golden Girls. (Photo: Touchstone Television/courtesy Everett Collection)

The Golden Girls ended its seven-season run in 1992, so it’s too late to spend a day on the set. But you can land one of the next best things — an author-signed copy of the book Golden Girls Forever, which recaps every episode of their Miami adventures. (It also includes a gossip session with author Jim Colucci and executive producer Marc Sotkin as part of an auction raising money for racial justice.

The idea for the event began when pop culture maven Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, and Andrea Bartz, author of thrillers The Lost Night and The Herd, saw the increased national focus on the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.

Conversations about systemic racism were taking place everywhere, including within the “overwhelmingly white” publishing industry, Keishin Armstrong tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Andi and I started talking about ways to use our own connections and privilege to target systemic racism in our own industry. Stuff like going to rallies and calling your representatives is super important, but we also wanted to call for racial justice in publishing, education and creative storytelling,” she says. “After all, the voices we read can shape a national conversation and change the way we see the world now and into the future.”

They found some impressive nonprofits already working hard to fight systemic racism and amplify Black voices in the fields of publishing, education and literacy, so they decided to support them through a fundraiser: the Authors for Black Voices auction. They ended up with 66 auction items, 26 of which are from Black, indigenous and people of color authors and artists.

Besides that fun Golden Girls prize, items up for auction include an exclusive look at a deleted chapter from Hidden Bodies, the basis for the second season of the addictive (and creepy!) Netflix series You, based on Caroline Kepnes’s books. Another item is a one-hour phone conversation with Sheila Weller about her two books filled with boldface names: Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation and The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News. Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan contributed an autographed copy of his newest novel (soon to be a movie), Sex and Vanity, plus a signed photograph he shot of its setting, Capri.

“We really wanted to give bidders a unique experience (and raise lots of money)!” Keishin Armstrong explains.

A few days in, a signed and hand-annotated copy of Jessica Knoll’s The Luckiest Girl — which is set to be adapted for the screen by no less than Reese Witherspoon — is one of the items attracting the most attention, Keishin Armstrong says. Another is an advance copy of author Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut novel, The Other Black Girl, which isn’t set to arrive in bookstores until 2021 but is already in development as a TV series at Netflix. The winner of that lot will receive a signed copy of the bound manuscript of the novel even before reviewers are allowed to see it.

The auction is open now through Aug. 31 at AuthorsforBlackVoices.org.

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