Celebrate Black History Month with the CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH TIYA MILES’S AWARD-WINNING BOOK AND RELIVE HER SESSION AT CHARLESTON LITERARY FESTIVAL 2021

In 1850s Charleston, Rose, an enslaved woman, was facing an impossible situation. Her nine-year-old daughter Ashley was to be separated from her through forcible sale in South Carolina’s slave market. In a gesture of motherly love, she packed a small sack containing basic provisions for Ashley to carry with her.

Harvard historian Tiya Miles’s National Book Award-winning work, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake evokes the story behind this sack and its legacy. This artifact is not just a story of forced separation, loss, and generational love; it also tells us about enslaved black women’s methods of survival.

In conversation with Kameelah Martin at the Charleston Literary Festival 2021, Tiya Miles says, “Ashley’s sack shows us that black women’s history is real, it is rich, and we can access it if only we listen to black women’s stories.”

This Black History Month, you can view this powerful conversation between Tiya Miles and Kameelah Martin, Dean of the Graduate School at the College of Charleston on YouTube, HERE.

You can also purchase a copy of All That She Carried from Buxton Books or via Bookshop.

Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth

Ukweli is the Swahili word for truth. This book meets this moment in America as a healing truth to overcome the trauma of slavery and the decades of violence that followed it. The personal accounts and insights from forty-five writers and poets will educate White Americans about the systematic racial bias employed to stymie African American progress.

Ukweli provides insight into the struggles Black people have faced as they’ve made substantial contributions to America, and helped to define its soul. It shows a part of American history often overlooked or misunderstood. Inspired by a poetry, lecture, and dialogue series of the same name organized by poet Horace Mungin in 2020 at Charleston’s McLeod Plantation.

Ukweli, Searching for Healing Truth: Hakim Abdul-Ali • Marcus Amaker • Kim Nesta Archung • Steve Bailey • William P. Baldwin • Al Black • James M. Brailsford III • Millicent E. Brown • Vicki Callahan • Karen Chandler • Portia E. Cobb • Tim Conroy • Sara Makeba Daise • Heather L. Hodges • Damon Fordham • Adrienne Troy Frazier • Herb Frazier • Savannah J. Frierson • Shawn Halifax • Jonathan Haupt • Stephen G. Hoffius • Gloria Holmes • Josephine Humphreys  • Gary Jackson • DeMett E. Jenkins  • Marnishia Jenkins-Tate • Patricia Bligen Jones  • Ed Madden • Susan Madison • Joseph McGill Jr. • Ray McManus • Karen Meadows • Kennae Miller • Horace Mungin • Porchia Moore • Yvette R. Murray • Hampton R. Olfus Jr. • Adam Parker • Bernard E. Powers Jr. • Elizabeth Robin • Aïda Rogers • Margaret Seidler • Teresa Speight • Jennie L. Stephens • Kieran “Kerry” Taylor • Ronda Taylor • LaTisha Vaughn • Marjory Wentworth • Ernest L. Wiggins • Treva Williams

January 2021: Black Ink Festival

Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival is being awarded $5,000 from the Literary Arts Emergency Fund for its next festival, which is taking place Jan. 14-16, 2021. The event will be virtual in the interest of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic. While not in person, the free festival is still sure to inspire and enlighten participants. 

Stay up to date on the schedule of events, by visiting https://www.blackinkcharleston.org/

About Black Ink:

Black Ink: A Charleston African-American Book Festival is the first and only annual celebration of African-American literature in South Carolina. Celebrating its fifth year in January 2021, Black Ink serves as a platform to support local Black writers, creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and expose readers of all ages to the great variety of African-American authors in the area. With the support of community-conscious sponsors, Black Ink: A Charleston African-American Book Festival will impact the lives of hundreds of readers, both young and old.

Black Ink is presented by the Charleston Friends of the Library, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the Charleston County Public Library’s resources, stimulating use of the Library, and developing and supporting educational and literacy programs. Previous Black Ink sponsors have included the Charleston County Public Library, College of Charleston’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, Library Foundation of the Lowcountry, College of Charleston Friends of the Library, South Carolina Humanities, Avery Research Center of the College of Charleston, T-Mobile, Lagunitas Brewery, Law Offices of David Aylor, Palmetto Surety, Statehouse Report, South State Bank, Rotary Club Charleston, and YWCA and YMCA of Greater Charleston.

Previous festivals have welcomed hundreds of attendees and garnered positive publicity. The previous keynote speakers have included Nikki Giovanni, Terry McMillan, Kwame Alexander, and Marcus Amaker. In 2020, the Black Ink Committee created new programming and adjusted the date of its major annual event. To maintain engagement and momentum during this time of transition, we have been hosting smaller, but more regular, events including cohosting National Book Award nominees Akwaeke Emezi and Jericho Brown, an African-American Poetry Panel discussion, a book giveaway and virtual book club discussion with Kwame Mbalia and more.