Best-selling author Kwame Mbalia headlines
Charleston Friends of the Library launched the Black Ink book festival five years ago to support Black writers and create a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and connect with readers of all ages. This year, the mission is more important than ever and is reflected in the theme, “Amplifying Black Voices,” says committee chairwoman Djuanna Brockington. The virtual event (taking place January 14 through 16) provides organizers the opportunity to extend its reach to a broader audience, she says. “Black Ink is a place for us to share our stories and share our diversity...It’s a place to highlight our history and our future, but to also promote belonging and appreciation for the work of Black writers.”
New York Times best-selling author Kwame Mbalia headlines the online festival. The North Carolina-based middle grade writer is known for his novels, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and the sequel Tristan Strong Destroys the World, which follow a boy dealing with loss and trauma as he fights to save the world alongside Black folk heroes and gods.
The festival also brings together industry panelists for a discussion on the landscape of publishing for Black authors. Novelist Kiley Reid, who was nominated for the Booker Prize in July, and Nicole Johnson, the executive director of We Need Diverse Books, will talk about the importance of diverse voices in literature. To see a schedule and to register, visit blackinkcharleston.org.