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Black Ink book festival, featuring poet Nikki Giovanni, kicks off in Charleston on Oct. 5

Nikki Giovanni

Poet Nikki Giovanni will headline the 2019 Black Ink book festival at Memminger Auditorium. File

More than 60 authors will gather for the latest Black Ink book festival, which is slated for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 5 at at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., Charleston.

Poet-activist Nikki Giovanni will be the keynote speaker. Her address is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The festival, a program of the Charleston Friends of the Library and a part of the MOJA Arts Festival, celebrates African American writers.

Admission is free, though advance registration is required for attending the keynote address. Reserve tickets are available at

Giovanni, a veteran of the civil rights movement, has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and three collections of essays. She is a distinguished professor at Virginia Tech.

She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards, including the Governors’ Awards in the Arts from both Tennessee and Virginia.

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"Rosa," her biography of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, won Caldecott Honors and the Coretta Scott King Medal for best illustrated book.

Three of her volumes of poetry — "Love Poems," "Blues: For All the Changes" and "Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea" — were winners of the NAACP Image Award in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

The "Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection," a spoken-word CD, was a finalist for the 2003 Grammy Award in the category of spoken word.

In addition to Giovanni’s keynote address, Black Ink will feature dozens of African American authors, most from the Charleston area. They will display and sell books.

Among those participating in this growing event are poet Marcus Amaker, romance writer D.M. Brockington, Gullah historian Alphonso Brown, jazz writer Al Fraser, young adult fiction writer Joyce Hansen, children's book author Lillie Mazyck, Gullah culinary writer Sallie Ann Robinson and thriller writer Kenneth Yates.

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.

Adam Parker has covered many beats and topics for The Post and Courier, including race in America, religion, and the arts. He is the author of "Outside Agitator: The Civil Rights Struggle of Cleveland Sellers Jr.," published by Hub City Press.

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