Award-winning Author Kwame Alexander Will Headline Local Black Book Festival

Kwame Alexander, New York Times-bestselling author and 2015 Newberry Medal recipient, will be the featured speaker at this year’s Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival. Alexander will join at least 50 black authors and hundreds of readers for the second annual festival on September 23, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Main branch of the Charleston County Public Library at 68 Calhoun St. The event is free and open to the public.

Kwame Alexander

Alexander is the author of 24 books, including poetry, prose, and picture books. In addition to winning the Newberry Award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, his book The Crossover also received the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor and other recognitions. The book is “a mix of free verse and hip-hop poetry that will have broad appeal,” according to a starred review in the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. “This will inspire budding players and poets alike.”

Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Writing Workshop. A regular speaker at schools and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world—including Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, and recently, Ghana—planting seeds of literary love.

“We are thrilled that Kwame, one of the most inspiring authors in America today, will join us for our second festival,” announced Brittany Mathis, director of the Charleston Friends of the Library, one of the sponsors of the festival. Other sponsors include the South Carolina Humanities, the Rotary Club of Charleston, the YWCA of Greater Charleston, the YMCA of Greater Charleston, the Avery Research Center, CharlestonGood, and the Lagunitas Brewing Company .

“We are also grateful that the Charleston County Public Library has agreed to host the festival,” she continued. “Last year, at Burke High School, we were able to draw almost 500 readers. This year, with the support of the library, we expect many more.”

Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival’s mission is to support local Black writers, creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and expose readers all ages to the great variety of African American authors in the area.  General admission to the event is FREE to the public and includes all author exhibits, featured author sessions, workshops/ seminars and entertainment.  The full schedule can be viewed online at

The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and/ or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.  South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors.  It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.

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