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Nalo Hopkinson, Elsie Augustave and More at the 2014 National Black Writers Conference

The Twelfth National  Black Writers Conference:

Reconstructing the Master Narrative

Sponsored by the Center for Black Literature

 Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn

Thursday, March 27, 2014       to Sunday, March 30, 2014

The 12th National Black Writers Conference:  Reconstructing...

The Twelfth National Black Writers Conference will provide  writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public  with a forum for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel  discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on themes related to Reconstructing  the Master Narrative.

The 2014 NBWC theme of “Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative” builds on previous NBWCs and takes into account the need to expose the general public to the vast range of texts that Black writers throughout the diaspora are producing. Using this theme as the premise of this public gathering of writers, students, literary agents, editors and the general public will have an opportunity to attend panels, roundtables and readings, participate in workshops, and take in performances over the four days of the Conference. The honorees for the Twelfth NBWC are: Maryse Condé, Walter Mosley, Quincy Troupe, Derek Walcott, and posthumously to Margaret Burroughs.

The National Black Writers Conference is a public program that will provide writers, scholars, literary professionals, students, and the general public with a forum for expanding their knowledge and reading of Black literature and for engaging in dynamic and spirited conversations, panel discussions, readings, workshops, and performances on conference themes and on future trends in the literature of Black writers.

Event Highlights

3/28: Films Celebrating Activism in Black Literature: A selection of short films inspired  by and with literary themes. Sponsored by the NBWC and African Voices/Reel Sisters

3/28: The Search for Self in Caribbean Literature: Past, Present, and Future: A Special Literary Event featuring Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott. For this special literary event, poet and playwright Derek Walcott will be joined by the Trinidad-born poet Mervyn Taylor and St. Lucian poet and producer Adrian Augier to participate in a program titled “The Search for Self in Caribbean Literature: Past, Present, and Future.” The conversation will focus on Walcott’s writing life and explore the themes of identity, memory, belonging and spirituality in his work and in  Caribbean literature. $10 donation for non-conference attendees.

3/29: Race, Power, and Politics: The interrelationship    between race, power, and politics is more intricate than it has ever been.    While some argue that the intersections of race, power, and politics have    produced social and political movements, others have argued that we live in a post-racial society where race no longer matters. They suggest that we have transcended race.

Click here to register for the conference and to purchase tickets to special events.

Click here for an overview of the conference.

Purpose Awakening by Toure Roberts Author’s Discussion/Signing

Purpose Awakening: Discover the Epic Idea that Motivated Your Birth

Purpose Awakening, the breakout book of international speaker Touré Roberts, is about that transformational moment when you are awakened to the purpose of your life. Your life began with a brilliant thought in God’s mind. Your purpose, therefore, is the awakening to that thought. In this groundbreaking book, Touré introduces a new way to perceive the meaning of purpose. As he says: “You don’t find purpose; purpose finds you.” In fact, purpose conceived you; it was the catalyst for your birth.

This thought-provoking book opens with the revolutionary concept that “Every life began as an epic idea.” This new way of finding your purpose will empower you and change your life forever. You haven’t even begun to live until you find out why you are here.

Touré uses personal stories, humor, and eye-opening analogies to take you on a transformational journey. You will learn how to discover your unique purpose, know God’s voice, identify and choose purpose mates, end wrong relationships, put an end to fear, grow your faith, and so much more.


Tuesday March 25, 2014| 7:00 PM| 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles,  90036| 323-525-0270

Author Craig Prentiss to discuss his book on religion in African American theater at Emory University

Craig R. Prentiss, author of Staging Faith: Religion and African American Theater from the Harlem Renaissance to World War II, will visit Emory University for a book reading and signing.

The book examines the intersection of religion and theater as a reflection of African American life during the first Great Migration (roughly 1910-1930). Those were tumultuous years, when large numbers of African Americans moved from the largely rural South to cities in the Northeast, Midwest and West in search of jobs and greater possibilities for their futures.

A professor of religious studies at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, Prentiss discusses nearly 40 African American-written plays from about 1915 to 1940 in his book. Most of the plays are obscure and unpublished, and many of them were performed in community centers and churches.

Tuesday, February 25. 6:30 p.m.

Robert W. Woodruff Library

540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322

Parking available in the Fishburne deck

Sunday, Feb. 23: Glam Executive by Joi Mebane Book Launch

Join beauty expert Joi Mebane for the book launch of the  Glam Executive hosted by Bo Talley with appearances by Bravo TV’s Derek J, VH1’s Mimi Faust on Sunday February 23, 2014 at Twelve Atlantic Station.


The Glam Executive, written by beauty expert Joi Mebane,  is the essential book for anyone looking to get into the beauty business. Retail beauty advisors, direct sales consultants, estheticians, cosmetologists, instructors and students all need the invaluable information it contains. The Glam Executive, serves as the ultimate resource for pursuing any career within within the beauty industry. In addition to Joi’s expertise, the book features behind the scenes secrets from Michael DeVellis (creator of The Makeup Show), Beverly Pitts (founder of the Pro Beauty Show), Miami celebrity makeup artist Michelle Cameau as well as Mebane’s insight to her own journey of launching a cosmetic line and owning multiple beauty retail operations.

Join the conversation on Twitter: @thelookbyjoi using the hashtag  #GlamExecutiveJoi

Hisham Aidi Signing Copies of “Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture”

Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture


In this timely, revelatory study, Hisham Aidi examines the secular and religious movements that have recently emerged among Muslim youth in the west as a means of protest against the policies of the “War on Terror.” He interviews artists and activists and reports from music festivals and concerts. He explains how certain kinds of music—particularly hip hop, but also jazz, Gnawa, Andalusian, Judeo-Arabic, Latin, and others—have come to represent a heightened racial identity and a Muslim consciousness that crisscrosses the globe.

He describes how Western governments—particularly the U.S. and England—use music in an attempt to de-radicalize Muslim youth abroad. And he explores the increasing radicalization among Muslim youth in a historical context: looking back to the Civil Rights movement and to the words of Malcolm X that have inspired many American Muslims. In all, Aidi has written a riveting, eye-opening portrait of a growing, potentially radical segment of the global youth culture.




March 5, 2014| 7:00 PM| 2289 Broadway| New York, NY| 212-362-8835

Postcards from Cookie by Caroline Clarke

Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of MailCaroline Clarke was born in an era when adoptions were shameful, secret, and sealed. While she wondered about her biological parents, she kept her curiosity in check, until a series of small health problems raised concerns about her genetic heritage and its consequences for her two children’s lives and her own.

Though Spence-Chapin Family Service, the agency that handled her adoption, could not reveal the name of her birth mother, it was able to provide details that lead to a shocking truth. Caroline’s birth mother and her family were related to a friend. The woman who gave her life was none other than Carole “Cookie” Cole, the daughter of iconic crooner and pianist Nat King Cole.

Drawing on details provided by the agency and her own investigative skills, Caroline embarked on a life-changing journey of discovery that stretched from coast to coast, forged through e-mail, phone calls, and post cards. The constancy, volume, and intimacy of her steady correspondence with Cookie filled the days and distance between them. Through brief yet poignant messages squeezed onto three-inch open-faced squares, mother and daughter revealed themselves, sharing secrets, taking risks, and ultimately building a bond like no other.

Caroline Clarke is an award-winning journalist whose experience spans print, digital and television outlets. In her 18 years at Black Enterprise, she has served in a number of key roles including senior editor and editor-at-large.

Get your copy here.


April 16, 2014| 7:00 PM| 150 East 86th Street, New York, NY 10028| 212-369-2180