Black Ink: The Charleston African American Book Festival

Black Ink: The Charleston African-American Book Festival is the first and only annual celebration of African-American literature in the Charleston area.  The fourth annual event will occur Saturday, October 5, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at Memminger Auditorium in downtown Charleston. They keynote speaker is world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni. SC Humanities helped support this program with a Fast Track Literary Grant.

Black Ink serves as a platform to support local black writers in the Lowcountry, 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. The Charleston African-American Book Festival is presented by the Charleston Friends of the Library, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the Charleston County Public Library’s resources, stimulating the use of the Library, and developing and supporting educational and literacy programs. This year, Black Ink is part of the City of Charleston’s MOJA Arts Festival, an annual celebration of African-American culture. The festival is free to the public and will include hundreds of books for sale, vendor exhibits, a keynote address, and more!

Nikki Giovanni’s keynote address will take place at 2:00 pm on October 5. Admission is free, but registration is required. Currently, the event is sold out. One of the most widely read American poets, Giovanni has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books, and three collections of essays. The Academy of American Poets voted Giovanni #1 poet for the spring of 2007. She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards, including Woman of the Year titles from three different magazines and the Governors’ Awards in the Arts from both Tennessee and Virginia.

For more information about the festival, visit

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.