2021 keynote


The Charleston African-American Book Festival is the first and only annual celebration of African-American literature in the Charleston area. Black Ink serves as a platform to support local Black writers, 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. With the support of community-conscious sponsors Black Ink: A Charleston African-American Book Festival will impact the lives of hundreds of readers, both young and old.

Black Ink is a project of the Charleston Friends of the Library in partnership with the Charleston County Public Library. The festival is free to the public and will include hundreds of books for sale, vendor exhibits, a keynote address, and more!


The 2021 festival will feature New York Times bestselling author Kwame Mbalia as its keynote speaker. He authored the middle-grade novel "Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky." ​

Mbalia’s sequel "Tristan Strong Destroys the World" will be published in October by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. He is a graduate of Howard University and currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and children.



Registration for featured authors of the festival is now open. While the event will be virtual, there are still ample opportunities for readers to connect with authors. Registered authors will be hosted on the event’s virtual platform so that attendees can speak to authors, receive exposure on Black Ink’s social media and digital platforms, have the opportunity to network with other authors in online groups and more. Registration is $75 per author and registration closes on Dec. 14, 2020. 


programs, workshops & panels

The 2021 Black Ink Festival will have more programs, panels and workshops than ever before. The free programs will be focused on providing valuable information and provoke thoughtful discussions for authors, readers and the general public. 
Stay tuned for the full program list!