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How to Celebrate National Black Authors Day – May 4

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

From engaging with Black authors on social media to attending a local event and purchasing books from Rochester Black authors, there are many ways to get involved in this national holiday!

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Black Authors Day is a national holiday created by Love for Words founder CaTyra Polland and the new holiday is all about celebrating Black authors and literacy. Celebrated annually on May 4th, this day was created to both recognize and honor the contributions of Black authors to literature and celebrate and pay tribute to the significant impact Black authors have had on the literary world.

Black authors have made enormous contributions to literature throughout history. From the works of Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Zora Neale Hurston, to contemporary authors such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Jacqueline Woodson, Black authors have played a vital role in shaping literature as we know it today.

"We want to acknowledge the obstacles Black authors have faced and continue to face, including systemic racism and discrimination within the publishing industry," explained Polland who added that Black authors are more likely to be rejected for publishing and/or undersold and under-marketed in book stores. "Despite these challenges, Black authors have persisted, sharing their unique perspectives and experiences with the world."

To celebrate Black Authors Day, there are many ways to honor Black authors and their contributions to literature:

  • You can start by reading a book by a Black author

  • Sharing a quote on social media

  • Writing a thank you letter to a Black author

  • Donate a book by a Black author to a local library or school

  • Make a video acknowledging a Black author who has inspired you.

  • Attend the Rochester event on May 4

Be sure to tag all of your social media posts with the hashtag #NationalBlackAuthorsDay!

The importance of celebrating National Black Authors Day cannot be overstated. Reading literature written by Black authors can help promote understanding, empathy, and unity among people of all races and backgrounds. By recognizing the contributions of Black authors, we can help to break down barriers and promote a more inclusive and diverse literary world.

To connect with Polland, interview her about Black Authors Day or submit ideas for partnership please email us using the button below:

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