Updated: Oct 31, 2022
A recently registered National Black Authors Day will celebrate Black literary talents.
We don't celebrate Black authors enough in this country and many report struggling to find a publisher, getting published or receiving the recognition their work deserves.
But CaTyra Polland is hoping to change that.
She recently created National Black Authors Day, which takes place May 4 to shed light on Black literary talents, writings and literacy in general, demonstrating that the Black community's stories are worth telling and being heard.
"It's really important to celebrate Black authors," says Polland, founder of Love for Words. She added that literacy is especially critical for this community because of a long violent history: "Literacy in the Black community is still something we fall short on. We could be killed for learning to read and write at one point in our history. Literacy is very important to the Black community."
The day will celebrate Black literacy achievements while also sparking more conversation on low literacy rates and hardships Black authors face trying to publish and market their stories.
Not all agencies and literary agents appreciate the value of Black stories, especially since the publishing industry is predominantly white. Working with a group of individuals who do not understand the Black experience and have little to no interest in learning is onerous. Marketing expenses also pose a challenge for Black authors publishing their work, Polland says:
"Marketing can be very expensive, especially for self-publishers who have to put up their own money to pay for expenses," says Polland. "Working across the racial line along with budgeting are the biggest challenges Black authors face."
With a growing understanding of the value of diverse stories, Polland hopes the day will serve as a major connector for agencies, writers and others in the literary space with the same mission. To connect with Polland and collaborate on National Black Authors Day, head to Love for Words' website.
National Black Authors Day is on May 4th. Please visit National Black Authors Day - National Day Archives for more information.