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10am-6pm, Free
Temple University Main Campus
Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue to 13th Street

Register TODAY for workshops and panels

NOTE: All authors and panelists are subject to change.

9AM — 12PM

Celebration of Black Writing Youth Basketball Tournament

Temple University McGonigle Hall

 Middle school students from around Philadelphia will come together for a tournament of readers and ballers.

Celebration of Black Writing Symposium for Teachers:

Location: TBA

Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Workshop

Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), helped lead the Freedom Rides, and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor Peoples Campaign. Fifty years later, the ordained minister and the former director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at Rhode Island University remains committed to nonviolence as a tactic for social change. LaFayette will show participants how to adapt Civil Rights-era tools to their work with young people of color today. Teachers who participate are eligible for Act 48 credit.


Using Visual Art to Teach Writing 

Engaging some students in literature and writing can be a challenge. Drawing on works and curricula from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Steve Willis of the Wachovia Education Resource Center demonstrates how visual art can enrich writing and English instruction. Teachers who participate are eligible for Act 48 credit.

 Partner: Philadelphia Museum of Art


Celebration of Black Writing Festival Kickoff

Temple University Campus, Broad St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.

 Art Sanctuary kicks off our 26th Annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival. Join us for inspiring workshops and panel discussions, fun family activities, powerful performances, a book fair with author signings, delicious food, fabulous crafts— and a few words from Mayor Michael Nutter.

 11AM — 6PM

 Celebration of Black Writing Festival Main Stage

Temple University Campus, Cecil B. Moore Ave. to 13th Street

 Jean Baylor, one half of the hit duo Zhané, will perform songs from her gorgeous solo debut, Testimony: my life story. Our lineup also includes poetry, music and dance by local talents such as Misty Sol and Davina, Art Sanctuary’s North Stars, and our Haiku Writing Contest Winners. Dynamic spoken word artist K.D. Morris hosts.


11AM — 4PM

Celebration of Black Writing Family Pavilion

Corner of N. Broad St. and Cecil B. Moore Ave.

 The Family Pavilion is jam-packed with kid-friendly readings, entertainment and workshops!

 Featured readings:

Derrick Barnes (Ruby & The Booker Boys), Bryan Collier (Rosa), Nancy Devard (The Secret Olivia Told Me),  Wade & Cheryl Hudson (Just Us Books), Dr. Diane D. Turner (My Name is Oney Judge).


Actor Noah Lewis as Edward “Ned” Hector, free Black colonial soldier, African folktales with Carla Wiley, Face painting and performances by the Hobbs Clowns


Outdoor Workshops:

Genealogy 101

Composer and genealogy enthusiast Hannibal Lokumbe and students from St. Francis de Sales elementary show you how to trace your family roots and reveal what they’ve learned about their own ancestors.

Building a Home Library for Children

Just Us Books publishers Cheryl & Wade Hudson show you how to create a library for your kids right in your own home!

Raising Your Son to Be a Reader

Compared to video games and toys, reading books may be a chore for young boys. Samantha Shepherd, program manager at Haverford Township Free Library, gives you simple tips and titles that will turn your son into an avid reader.

Good Hair is Healthy Hair

Abenaa Timazee, owner of Brownstone Natural Hair and Barber Studio, shares her children’s hair care methods and demonstrates a few of her gorgeous, age-appropriate styles.

10AM – 5PM

Celebration of Black Writing Panel Discussions

Ritter Hall Annex, 13th St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.


10:00AM – 11:15AM   

New Media as a Tool for Social Justice

How Black writers and bloggers are using new media to bypass traditional gatekeepers and advance a modern social justice agenda.

Panelists: Nia Ngina Meeks, Philadelphia politico, reporter and writer; Chris Rabb, Afro-Netizen founder and social entrepreneur; Akiba Solomon, freelance writer, editor and body image blogger.


Writing in the Margins: Arts & Activism in the LGBTQ Community

This panel will explore how activists have used visual art, literature and film to confront the issues Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities of color face.

Panelists: Writer Laini Madhubuti, Filmmaker and Noah’s Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk; documentary filmmaker and anti-rape activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons


Writing & Archiving African-American History

 (Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Sullivan Hall, 1330 W. Berks St.)

In the spirit of Marcus Garvey’s prescient observation—“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”—two legends of African American scholarship discuss the contemporary demand for historical research for and by people of African descent. Join Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, Temple University professor of African American Studies, Charles L. Blockson, the historian, lecturer and namesake of the Blockson Collection, and Dr. Sulayman Clark, historian and novelist, for an illuminating conversation. 

 11:25AM – 12:40PM

Sci-fi: Imagining Justice

New York Times bestselling author Steven Barnes (The Legacy of Heorot and The Cestus Deception), and Thenmozi Soundararajan, a grassroots media organizer and filmmaker, discuss how artists of color use science fiction to create a world where freedom is not just a possibility but a reality. Let these visionaries beam you up.


12:50 PM – 2:05PM

Picturing Evil: Exploring the Complexity of Black Humanity in Film

In light of the controversy about images of Black family in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, the film’s producer Lisa Cortes; Oscar-nominated screenwriter of A Soldier’s Story Charles Fuller; and Cover screenwriter Aliya Jackson discuss the challenges—and the necessity—of depicting the evil that lives in our communities.


2:15PM – 3:30PM

Reaping & Sowing: A Family Conversation about Black Literary Inheritance

The writing and literature we’re exposed to as children play key role in who we become and what we value as adults. So says legendary wordsmith, educator and Third World Press founder Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, and educator and activist Rochelle Nichols Solomon. Along with their writer daughters, Laini Madhubuti, and Akiba Solomon, they explore the intersection between Movement and contemporary social justice writing. 


Malcolm X and Islam’s Influence on the Movement in Philadelphia

Lifelong activists Richard Hasaan and Kenneth Salaam examine how Malcolm X and the growth of Islam helped shape Black politics and social justice movements in Philadelphia. 


4:00PM – 5:30PM

Movement: Paying It Forward (Main Stage)

To hear some tell it, Black writing that meaningfully engaged issues of race and resistance, gender and class died with the dissipation of the Black Power movement. Our diverse, multigenerational panel begs to differ.

This provocative discussion features Steven Barnes, bestselling speculative fiction writer; Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., SNCC founder and educator; Haki R. Madhubuti, Third World Press founder and educator; Nia Ngina Meeks, political journalist; Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, director of the Hiphop Archive at Harvard University; and Sonia Sanchez, poet and educator.


10AM — 5PM

Celebration of Black Writing Workshops

Ritter Hall Annex, 13th St. & Cecil B. Moore Ave.

10:00AM – 11:15AM

 Breaking Through: How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer

Aliya S. King, an award-winning freelance writer (Essence, Vibe and many others) shares her insider tips on navigating the cutthroat media business. King, also a bestselling author (Keeping the Faith and Platinum), reveals the pros and cons of freelancing and helps you determine if you have what it takes to succeed.


11:25AM – 12:40PM

 Spoken Word in Print: How to Get Your Poetry Published

Celebrated poet Mahogany Browne and Quarterly Black Review publisher and Harlem Book Fair founder Max Rodriguez outline the dos and don’ts of submitting poetry for publication.


12:50PM – 2:05PM

 From Plot To Published: A Complete Guide To Fiction Writing

Bestselling author Solomon Jones (Pipe Dream and Keeping Up With the Jones) teaches participants how to develop characters, construct plot summaries, and submit queries to agents and publishers. Jones will (briefly) discuss self-publishing as well.


2:15PM – 3:30PM

Real Men Read: Connecting Young Men to Literature that Speaks the Them

In a workshop tailored to professional educators and others who work with youth, Columbia University professor, speaker and author Dr. Marc Lamont Hill shares innovative ways to reach young men through literature.


12:00PM – 3:30PM

 Publisher’s Open Call:

Editors from HBF Publishers, in association with Harlem Book Fair, meet with new writers, consider their manuscripts for publication, and provide professional advice. Writers: Registration is required!

For a 20-minute consultation, please email the first 10 pages of your fiction or nonfiction manuscript and/or a one-page synopsis of your work to Also, bring hard copies of these materials to the Open Call.

 Co-sponsors: Harlem Book Fair and Quarterly Black Book Review

11AM — 2PM

Celebration of Black Writing Special Series 

11:00AM – 12:30PM

Good Hair Revisited: The Politics of Black Women’s Strands

Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex – Kiva Auditorium

Will Black women’s hair ever just be that—hair? On the heels of Good Hair, Chris Rock’s comedic mainstream meditation on a cornerstone of Black women’s culture, our speakers weigh in. Hear them out.

Panelists:  Renina Jarmon, feminist writer and creator of the Model Minority blog; Yvette Smalls, master braider, hair sculptor and Hair Stories filmmaker; Akosua Ali-Sabree, founder of the International Locs Conference: Natural Hair Health and Beauty Expo, and Lori L. Tharps and Ayana D. Byrd, co-authors of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair. Moderated by Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News reporter

12:45PM – 2:00PM

Caring for Your Crown with Syreeta Scott

Immediately following our spirited discussion, celebrity stylist and Duafe Holistic Hair Care owner Syreeta Scott demonstrates the best ways to treat and style your gorgeous head of hair. 


11:00AM – 12:30PM

Through the Bars: A Workshop on Objects and Memorials for People Affected by Incarceration

Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex – Walk Auditorium

 Personal objects can take on great meaning for people who have been incarcerated or have loved ones behind bars. Objects help people affected by prison stay connected to life on the other side of the wall. Dee Johnson, managing editor of The Pennsylvania Prison Society, and Philadelphia poet Angel Hogan, invite participants to reflect on their own get-through object and transform those thoughts into a story. Participants: You are encouraged, but not required, to bring this object to the workshop.

 Co-sponsor: First Person Arts


12:45PM – 2:00PM

 Objects, Memory & Story: Transform Your Stories Into Writing

Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex – Walk Auditorium

Through a series of interactive exercises, writer and memoirist Lise Funderburg (Pig Candy) will help workshop-goers uncover the stories and memories they’ve attached to personal objects and put them down on paper. Participants: You are encouraged, but not required, to bring an object of personal significance to the workshop.

 Co-sponsor: First Person Arts

10AM – 5PM

Workshops for High School Students

Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex

10:00AM – 11:15AM

Youth + Entrepreneurship = Success: Write a Winning Business Plan

Graduates of The Enterprise Center’s YES program will give budding entrepreneurs the tools they need to write an effective business plan. Students should bring at least one idea for a business they’d like to develop.

Partner: The Enterprise Center

11:25AM – 12:40PM

Put Your Best Words Forward: Writing Effective College Essays

This interactive workshop is open to high schools students interested in knowing how to craft the best essays for college admissions.

Facilitator: Melissa Rowe

12:50PM – 2:05PM

Using Visual Art to Write Your Story

Teyona Jackson of the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows students how interpret works by African-American artists such as William Dorsey, Jacob Lawrence, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. Students will use their insights to create poems, short stories and screenplays.

Co-sponsor: Philadelphia Museum of Art

2:15PM – 3:30PM

 Taking it to the Stage: A Workshop for Up and Coming Poets

Celebrated poet Mahogany Browne helps would-be wordsmiths put their thoughts and feelings into poetic form. She’ll also give more experienced young poets feedback and techniques to sharpen their work.


Black Pearl Orchestra Company Presents America’s Classical Masters

Baptist Temple at Temple University

World-class musicians from the Black Pearl Orchestra Company perform works that showcase the variety and brilliance of American composers. Experience the music of Dr. George Walker, the first Black composer to win a Pulitzer Prize. The company will also perform a stunning new piece by master jazz teacher Ellis Marsalis alongside Aaron Copland's elegiac “Quiet City” and Ernst Bloch's exuberant “Concerto Grosso #1.”

 *Lifetime Achievement Award ticket holders may also receive a complimentary ticket to this concert. Visit for details.


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Apr 28, 2010, 2:10 PM