A Charleston Friends of the Library event

Black Ink is Charleston’s African American Book Festival. It is a project of the Charleston Friends of the Library, a nonprofit organization. The festival's purpose is to support Black writers, especially from South Carolina, by 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.

Black Ink Book Festival's goal is to promote public awareness of the importance of African American contributions to American literature and public conversation. Authors will present fiction, poetry, nonfiction, memoirs, self-help, and spiritual offerings. First-time attendees are awed by the crowd, the professionalism, and the art forms practiced in our area. The festival aims for exposure, celebrating writing as an art form, and creating an opportunity for authors to network, recruit readers, and be recognized as valued members of the community. The keynote address aims for inspiration, timely social commentary, a broadening of perspectives, and a bringing together of a diverse array of people.

2023 festival
The seventh annual Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival will take place Jan. 12–14, 2023. The 2023 keynote speaker will be announced very soon. 

Black Ink Book Festival 2023 Committee members:
Samuel Bellamy, Nulani Bennett (Charleston Friends of the Library), Djuanna Brockington, Susan Hoffius (Charleston Friends of the Library), Savannah Frierson (Avery Research Center), Joselyn Johnson, Deborah Jones-Wheeler, Rhonda McKnight, Doug Reynolds (Charleston County Public Library), Asiah Thomas, and Lisa Van Bergen. 

Registration is open for the 2023 Black Ink Festival, which is in person this year after two years of being virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free festival runs from Jan. 12–14. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend live programs and discussions, and engage with presenters, authors, and other attendees, and visit with vendors. The festival aims to amplify the voices of Black authors. Through the virtual festival platform, attendees will also be able to chat with each other, discuss topics of interest, visit author virtual tables, and more. The festival closes with the keynote address.

For authors and readers alike, you won't want to miss this opportunity! Register for free today.

news & updates

For the latest news about Black Ink Book Festival, visit the News & Updates page. 

Previous festivals have drawn about 60 authors, the vast majority from the Charleston area, and more than 500 readers. Many of the authors have reported selling dozens of their books at this event. Keynote speakers in the past have been Marcus Amaker (2016), Kwame Alexander (2017), Terry McMillan (2018), Nikki Giovanni (2019), Kwame Mbalia (2021), and Beverly Jenkins (2022). Sponsors of the festival have included the Charleston County Public Library, the Library Foundation of the Lowcountry, South Carolina Humanities, the College of Charleston's Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, the College of Charleston Friends of the Library, the College of Charleston's Race and Social Justice Initiative, T-Mobile, YMCA of Greater Charleston, Lagunitas Brewery, the Law Offices of David Aylor, Palmetto Surety, Statehouse Report, and South State Bank.