In September 1993, Wilene Dozier and Felice Franklin attended a book signing of Tina McElroy Ansa’s novel Ugly Ways at The Book Mark in Atlantic Beach, Florida. They realized that there were a significant number of African Americans at the signing. Wilene stated that there should be an African American book club in Jacksonville that could host book signings and other events. They resolved to contact individuals who would be interested in forming a book club. An organizational meeting was held at the home of Felice Franklin on the first Friday of October 1993. It was determined that Felice would be the coordinator of the group and Wilene would be the facilitator. Hence the book club, then known as “The Reading Group”, was formed. The first book discussion was held on November 3, 1993 at the home of Marya Randolph. The book for discussion was Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillian.
On August 5, 1994 “The Reading Group” officially voted on a name for the organization. After two months of debates and a hard fought battle the organization became known as People Reading for Inspiration, Discussion and Enjoyment (P.R.I.D.E.). The acronym P.R.I.D.E. was recommended by Max Anderson. P.R.I.D.E. defeated “We Be Readin’ a name suggested by Greg Miller.
P.R.I.D.E. initially met on the first Friday of each month at 7:00 PM, except when the first Friday coincides with a holiday at which time meetings were held on the second Friday or moved to Saturday. Currently, meetings are held primarily on Saturday between 1:00 and 4:00 PM and the time is determined by the host and members. Anniversary meetings are held during November based on the availability of the guest author and facility.