Guest Author - Sonya L. Wilson
In honor of Black History Month, the Sankofa Literary Society is hosting an online book fair. This very unique online experience will showcase African-Americans in the literary world including authors and publishing leaders. The event will include an online chat and panel discussions broadcast over internet radio. It is focused on bringing back pride in African-American literature. Readers will be treated to weekly promotions, video and audio blogging, author showcases, noon time chats, open forum chat sessions and other fun and entertaining features. All events are free.
The Black History Month On-line Book Fair began on February 1 and will continue throughout the month of February. Each day members of the African American literary community will participate in nightly online discussions. Authors, agents, reporters, publishers, spoken word artists, poets and book store owners, will participate in these discussions. They will discuss African-American literacy and the importance of celebrating Black History all year long. The event is currently being promoted by an AP wire service, internet radio and by public radio stations in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Some authors participating in this event are Mary B. Morrison, Dwight Fryer, Beverly Jenkins, Donna Hill, Gwynne Forester, Bill Holmes and Kevin Wayne Johnson.
Each day in February will feature a specific theme related to people of color. Some themes discussed so far include: African-American Pioneers and Legends, Motivating our Communities, African American Firsts, and Ethics of Literary Reviewers and Reporters. Some upcoming themes will be: Bringing Our Pride Back and Black Love.
The main feature of the online book fair is the nightly discussions with African American authors. The Black Authors Network, part of Blog Talk Radio, will host nightly panel discussions for the online Black History Month book fair. Starting at 8 pm EST, featured authors and panelists will call into the internet radio site to discuss the topic of the day and the show will run until 10 pm. Readers will be able to call in and participate in the discussion during the show as well. Readers will be able to participate in an online chat in the Black Authors Network chat room during the show. There will also be an after party in the Blog Talk chat room.
Another component of the online book fair is the Black History 365 Social Network. Readers can blog their experiences at the online book fair on this site. By visiting the site and registering for the newsletter, readers are eligible for free books and prizes. Readers can also support the authors by visiting the SLS Event Bookstore and purchasing their books.
On one of the main book fair sites, participants can chat with authors throughout the day in the event chat room which is open from 10am-10pm. Daily video blog presentations are also available. In addition, the SLS site features podcasts by African-American authors. Each week, the website presents a list of 10 participating authors and visitors to the site can click on the name of the author and listen to them present and promote their books. The list of authors changes weekly.
The event will include tributes to notable African-American figures and institutions. Among those honored will be pioneers in African-American Literature, Paul Coates and Black Classic Press, and Karibu Books; a well-known bookstore that specialized in black books. Film stars such as Ruby Dee will also be honored as well as Yahoo Group owners of Apooo, Rawsistaz, Go on Girls, Sisterspace and MochaMoms.
There are some fun perks available to those who participate in the book fair. Visa gift cards worth $100 will be given away each week during the event. Free autographed books will also be given away to visitors. Professional bloggers will have a chance to win prizes and get cash if they support the authors during the book fair. In addition, the 2 book clubs or yahoo groups with the most members participating in the chat room and on the phone calls for the entire month will be rewarded with a gift bag worth $300 and free books.
This very unique and fun event has numerous things to offer African American book lovers and writers. There are many websites associated with this book fair and it is well worth the time to visit them and enjoy this one-of-a kind event.