Harlem Is Lit(erature)

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival on June 18th, 2022 was free, public, and open to all ages. The festival builds on the foundation created by Arturo Schomburg—encouraging freedom of thought, the relentless pursuit of Black History, and the engagement of our imagination toward our collective freedom. The event featured some of the most talented writers of African descent and influential figures in culture today. One of the authors present was renowned photographer Bob Gore, who signed copies of his latest book documenting the protests after the murder of George Floyd. The book is titled Know Justice, Know Peace.

The inaugural festival, founded in 2019 as an in-person event, has been virtual for the last two years. This year marks its fourth year and reconvened communities of book lovers to interact with their favorite authors. Presentations took place on stages named for Adam Clayton Powell and Zora Neale Hurston. There was a marketplace of local organizations and vendors, and a NYPL mobile library. Readings, panel discussions, and workshops at the event ranged from prose to poetry, comic books to young adult novels, fiction, and nonfiction.

Attendees saw the power in sharing personal stories—the power to spark meaningful connections, to deepen self-awareness, and even to inspire social change.

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