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National Black Arts Festival Hosts "Blacklisted" Banned Book Fair in Atlanta

NBAF IN THE NEWS:
PRESS
April 18, 2023 at 12:39 pm EDT

The National Black Arts Festival is hosting its Blacklisted! Book Fair and Conference this Black History Month as book bans across the nation spread.

by Nahlah Abdur-Rahman

February 22, 2024

The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) is spreading awareness this Black History Month on the attack against banned books across the United States. The organization is hosting its first-ever Blacklisted! Banned Book Fair and Conference in Atlanta to promote controversial books.

The book fair takes place Feb. 24 to 25, with an expansive list of programming to encourage reading across all genres, authors, and age groups. The conference will feature an Indie Black book market for attendees to purchase books that are being banned across states and schools, as well as interactive exhibitions on the history of banned works from Black, LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized authors.

Blacklisted! will discuss the rise of book bans with panelists Nic Stone, Tayari Jones, Feminista Jones and Dr. Akinyele Umoja. Panels will cover topics ranging from Afro-Futurism to activism against censorship.

Blacklisted! emerges amid a rising trend of book bans and restricted history lessons around the plight of Black people as well as the truth around American enslavement, as BLACK ENTERPRISE previously covered. In states such as Florida, new legislation, such as its “Don’t Say Gay” bill, allows for public schools to authorize books, often written by authors of color, to be forbidden from being taught in the classroom on the grounds that their content is “inappropriate.”

Blacklisted! will offer family-centered activities, such as youth readings by various authors and showcases of aspiring writers from a local high school. Alongside a film screening of Toni Morrison’s The Pieces I Am and teen workshops, the two-day event is filled with resources and engagements fit for everyone.

In addition to being a space to converse and be a patron to diverse reading, NBAF’s Blacklisted! Book Fair is a call to action to combat the restriction of books that challenge status quo.

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