On a Saturday, July 16, 2016, I attended the Soulful Chicago Book fair on Chicago’s south side. In 2015; Founder, Asadah Kirkland brought over 20 years of experience to create The Soulful Chicago Book Fair . On this beautiful summer afternoon, I had the great pleasure to meet several authors with phenomenal, warm and intense stories to share. We talked about life journeys, family, relationships, being proud to be black, and what it means to grow up in urban communities.
From block to block, authors stood in their booths proudly holding books with confident smiles on their faces. Each block represented a genre of literary work. On the children’s story block, I got a sense of proud parents teaching, learning and sharing powerful stories that will be told for generations. Often times, young adults and children were the authors of the books. It was a proud and humbling experience to witness strong African-American relationships surrounded by books.
Here are a few authors I had the pleasure of meeting and discussing their work:
“I Love My Hair” by Author, Candace Edwards shares an amazing book that’s fun with phenomenal illustrations by Edward C. Kidd.
Growing up, I didn’t embrace and love my hair as much as Madison. I started to appreciate the beauty and unique qualities of my hair as I got older. I’m thankful Ms. Candace Edwards is sharing this story of confidence.
“Just Because” by Author, Chiquita Camille Payne shares a heart-warming story about accepting one another and the importance of family love.
“Sneaky Little K” by Author, Sheenita Robinson and Illustrations by Jason Holmes shares an incredible book on discovering phonetics and sounds with the Sneaky Little K.
“The Love of Debbie La’treck” by Author, Habeeba B. Pasha and Illustrations by Pavel Melecky shares an amazing story about a girl name Vivian that has a creative spirit. She’s an avid reader and loves to live through literary characters. The story and illustrations perfectly flow.
“Legally Branded, A Memoir” by Author Shanna Red is a memoir about Shashanna Wilson. She is a woman who survived a heroin-addicted mother, physical and mental abuse at foster homes that ultimately caused self-identity issues, unhealthy relationships, and education problems. “Legally Branded, A Memoir” takes you on a journey in the shoes of Shashanna as she fights to overcome the darkness of foster care.
“Women’s Voices” by Author Rebekah S. Cole is an intense story about Jonetta Miller. A young, pregnant and unwanted young lady sent away by her mother to live in Chicago to live with her Aunts. She is faced with tough choices as family tensions rise.
“Call Her by Her Name, Poems” by Author Bianca Lynne Spriggs is a book of poetic genius. She tells stories that are rarely told. The book is a celebration of women. It breathes life into the complexity of women.
Let’s read together and start conversations about these amazing authors and important topics!
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