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 purpose of the festival is to support black writers, especially from South
Carolina, 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.

The goal of Black Ink 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, celebration of writing as a form of art, and creating an opportunity for authors to network, recruit readers, and to be recognized as valued members of the community. The keynote address aims for inspiration, timely social commentary, but also a broadening of perspectives and a bringing together of a diverse array of people.

2021 festival
The fifth annual Black Ink: A Charleston African-American Book Festival will take place on Jan. 14-16, 2021. The 2021 keynote speaker will be the New York Times Bestselling author Kwame Mbalia. 
Black Ink 2021 Committee members:
Djuanna Brockington, Claire Fund (Charleston Friends of the Library), Susan Hoffius (Charleston Friends of the Library), Melanie Collins (Charleston County Public Library), Savannah Frierson (Avery Research Center), Natalie Hauff (Charleston County Public Library), Georgette Mayo (Avery Research Center), Paul Stoney (YMCA of Greater Charleston). 

Registration is open for the 2021 Black Ink Festival, which is virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free festival runs from Jan. 14-16. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend live virtual programs and discussions, engage with presenters, authors and attendees. The festival is aimed at amplifying 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 by New York Times best selling author Kwame Mbalia at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16. 

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, 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) and Nikki Giovanni (2019). Sponsors of the festival have included the Charleston County Public Library, the Library Foundation of the Lowcountry, South Carolina Humanities, Avery Research Center of the College of Charleston, the College of Charleston Friends of the Library, the College of Charleston 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.