The African American Book Festival

October 11, 2014 was the big day for the African American Book Festival at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Christopher Hicks, author of Think Volume 1, and owner of Raven Wood Barbershop in Towson, Maryland created the African American Book Festival.

The African American Book Festival showcased a variety of different African American authors and entrepreneurs that have successfully published the words of their thoughts. This particular Baltimore event was great for many readers and creative writers because everyone that attended had something interesting to talk about. They relayed thoughtful messages to encourage new writers, educators, and leaders. This book festival wasn’t just about the African American authors it was about becoming what you write what writing what you become. This book festival was a message for all young writers of all ethnicities saying that your dream were valid.

During this day they had a full schedule with things to do and people to talk to, but the two workshops I enjoyed most was the two panels the featured writers Mr. Hicks invited. There were ten featured book authors, many of which do a lot more than just write. The ten authors are:

Dr. Mark Johnson – Owner of Male Enterprise Network (Men)

Sadiq Ali – Owner of Millionaire Manners Academy

Macee Whitehead – Owner of the Carroll School of Dance & The It Girl LLC

Nyilah Convington – Teen Specialist at the Central Library/State Library Resource Center

Kelly Little – Executive Director of Druid Heights Community Center

Trice Hickman – Best Seller Author

Sheri Booker – NAACP Image Award Winner

Troy Johnson – AALBC.COM Founder

Nikki Woods – Tom Joyner Morning Show Producer

Ella Curry – EDC Creations Founder

First Panel: “Good Kidd Madd City Urban Youth Panel – Maturing Adolescents During Depression.

Dr. Johnson, Mr. Ali, Ms. Whitehead, Ms. Covington, and Kelly Little did a great job on actually covering topics of our troubled youth in many different cities other than Baltimore. Youth are troubled and don’t exactly know how to actually get out of their situations. They explained that sometimes flourishing in life maybe hard to see, but it starts at home, it starts with people who have open ears, and it starts with the community. Shelter everyone you can no matter how big or how small it is. Everything helps I enjoyed this talk because it showed the educated African Americans that are always trying to make a difference in the community instead of taking from the community. They are encouraging these young people to follow their dreams, but study exactly what they want to do. Instead of trying to persuade them to sell drugs they are encouraging to just start with graduating from high school. The little things are the most important. Knowing where you come from is important and they understand that.

Second Panel: “The Digital Era – Why are Publishers the new villains in the digital age?”

Ms. Hickman, Ms. Booker, Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Woods creatively explained the in’s and out’s of how publishing with big companies and small ones can help you pave your way when becoming a great. One thing that stood out to me during the discussion was that every writer has to be self aware of whom they are publishing with because the story never comes out the same. Your story is your story. They are your words, so you have know wht you are willing to give up to get that big contract or what you are willing to keep to hustle by yourself. It’s a hardcore career, but in the end when your voice gets louder and louder it will all pay off. They say you have to be patient and keep writing. You are the motivation behind the story, not the publishers.