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Deltas Sponsor Author's Visit, Story Has Local Flavor
12/18/2013 3:20:13 PM

Kwame Alexander speaking to students

By Minerva T. King

On November 21, 2013, sixty-five students and ten adults had the pleasure of hearing poet and author Kwame Alexander in the library of St. John’s High School on Johns Island, South Carolina. Alexander, of Washington, DC, a protégée of poet Nikki Giovanni, was in Charleston at the invitation of the Charleston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. The purpose of his visit was to promote his recently published young adult novel, titled, He Said, She Said, a story about two teens with entirely different agenda who eventually realize that they have more in common than they originally thought.

The story takes place in Charleston, with several references to the city and surrounding areas. “Playa,” Omar T-Diddy Smalls tries to impress Harvard bound politically and socially savvy Claudia Clarke, who finds him shallow and immature. While trying to get her attention, he eventually realizes that he has become genuinely interested in an attempt to save the arts program at West Charleston High School, when the administration threatens to cut the program. Their stories are told in alternating chapters, thus the title, He Said, She Said.

One of the appeals of this book is the fact that the author makes use of social media within. The author’s visit was made possible through the Charleston County Public Library, specifically Darlene Jackson, manager of the Main Library, and Tama Howard, reference librarian at the Johns Island Regional Branch. Six copies of the book are available through the Charleston County Public Library.

Alexander, the author of seventeen books, and a frequent visitor to Charleston, was twice nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Book, first for Indigo Blume and the Garden City, illustrated by Charleston artist, Jah Sun (Jason Mitchell), then for Acoustic Rooster. The latter was chosen as a 2013/2014 Choose to Read Ohio title by the State Library of Ohio. Alexander plans to return to Charleston in December, 2013 and again in March, 2014.

You may follow his activities and whereabouts on [email protected]

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