Exclusive Interview: Meet the Hosts of “LITHAPPENS: A Ladies of Literacy Podcast”
MuggleNet is excited to announce our new partnership with LITHAPPENS: A Ladies of Literacy Podcast, which is joining us for its second season. Ladies of Literacy was a book club for nine years until its members decided to start a podcast in 2020. Its first season included a chapter-by-chapter read-through of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, occasionally interspersed with other novels.
Dr. Shay Price, a high school principal and one of the hosts of LITHAPPENS, explained the goal of the podcast:
I think the number one thing that we want people to know [is] that we are a diverse group of women that love ‘Harry Potter’ […]. And it’s our goal to get people to see that ‘Harry Potter’ can relate to all people, not just a certain group of people. We’re teased a lot because we’re Black girls and there’s this stigma that Black people don’t like ‘Harry Potter,’ or whatever. […] It was our mission to make ‘Harry Potter’ relevant to all people. On the podcast we talk about everything; we make it relevant.
In each episode, the hosts of LITHAPPENS reflect on the connections between the chapter they’re reading and their own lives. Shelita Freeman, a ninth-grade English language arts teacher and another host of LITHAPPENS, spoke about how Harry Potter has actually helped her gain more confidence in their podcast:
When you think about Harry and his friendships, people just believing in him, and surrounding him […] and just putting him in a place where he feels, ‘Okay. I can do this. […] I’m going to do this.’ For me, just having a village with Shay, and the ladies in [the] book club, it’s like, ‘Okay, we do have some good stuff here.’ […] Let’s see who will respond. Let’s see where it goes.
These reflections have also helped members of the club connect to one another. Shay recalled one episode in particular about the Mirror of Erised:
There are lots of tears in that episode if you listen because one of our members lost her mother and her only brother within a 10-month time span […]. Shelita asked the question, ‘If you could look into the mirror, what would you want? What would you see?’ She said that she would just want to see her mother saying that she’s done well. […] We never really talked about that before. The book – the discussion – brought that up.
Part of what the Ladies of Literacy love about Harry Potter is also what they believe makes their podcast so special: the way different perspectives on characters shift your reading. Shelita says that “characters may be portrayed one way based on how you view life, or the way you were raised, or where you come from.” Shay added, “That’s one of the special things about our podcast. We break those down, and we don’t all have the same opinion.”
Season 2 is going to have more of these real discussions and reflections through the lens of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This time, however, each episode is going to have an organizing theme. Family and friends is going to be an important theme in Chamber of Secrets, as well as a focus on some of the new characters introduced in the book, like Tom Riddle, Dobby, and Gilderoy Lockhart. Every third episode of the season will be about a book the club is reading other than Harry Potter. The first one to look forward to is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
The women in the book club are looking forward to this new partnership with MuggleNet.
We’re excited that there’s a broader platform where more people can see us and tap into us. We’re educators. We love education. We love learning. […] Other people needed to hear this, but we didn’t know how, and so we’re just excited,” Shay said.
So please join us in welcoming LITHAPPENS to the MuggleNet community, and check out the first episode of Season 2 today, September 19, wherever you listen to podcasts. For a preview, see the link below: