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Black Ink Festival Announces Sponsors Committed to Amplifying the Voices of Local Black Authors

Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival is pleased to announce its sponsors of the 2021 event, which will be focused on amplifying the voices of black authors. The free festival, which will be virtual due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place Jan. 14-16. The following organizations and businesses have committed to helping make next year’s festival a success:

  • Charleston Friends of the Library (Black Ink Primary Host)

  • The Literary Arts Emergency Fund (Black Ink Title Sponsor)

  • Live 5 News (WCSC-TV) (Media Sponsor)

  • Charleston County Public Library (Library Partner)

  • The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (Black Ink Partner)

  • Rotary Club of Charleston (Black Ink Associate)

  • Turning Page Bookshop (Black Ink Supporter)

  • EBSCO (Black Ink Supporter)

  • Arcadia (Black Ink Supporter)

  • Palmetto Surety (Black Ink Supporter)

Thanks to the sponsors above, the festival will host New York Times bestselling author Kwame Mbalia as its keynote speaker. Mbalia is a middle-grade writer who authored novel Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. His sequel Tristan Strong Destroys the World was 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. Previous keynote speakers of the festival include Nikki Giovanni, Terry McMillan, Kwame Alexander and Marcus Amaker.

In its fifth year, the annual event will feature dozens of African American authors, most from the Lowcountry and surrounding areas. It will also host workshops for authors and programs for readers throughout the two-day virual event, which is free for the public.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information on sponsorships, visit the sponsorship page or please contact President of the Charleston Friends of the Library Susan Hoffius at

Black Ink is hosted by the Charleston Friends of the Library in partnership with the Charleston County Public Library.

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