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The 14th annual Austin African American Book Festival

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The 14th annual Austin African American Book Festival celebrates the Black literary experience with a virtual event, Saturday, June 27.


Austin African American Book FestivalNew York Times bestselling authors Isabel Wilkerson and Dr. Damon Tweedy will head up the Fourteenth Annual Austin African American Book Festival. The event will be held on June 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for the first time will be a virtual event. The Festival remains free and open to the public, but attendees must register on Eventbrite.


This year’s festival falls on the birthday of Paul Laurence Dunbar.  Our festival theme, We Wear The Mask, pays homage to one of Dunbar’s most famous works. Like the poem of the same name, the festival will explore the masks and methods we employ to deal with the social hierarchies, challenges to identity and implicit biases we must face to succeed within the broader society.


Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of  The Warmth of Other Suns. The book tells the story of the great migration through the journeys of three Americans who made their way north and west in search of better opportunities for themselves and their families. Wilkerson’s next book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, uncovers a system of human rankings that has shaped America today and throughout its history. Caste will be released in August.    


Black Man in a White Coat, Tweedy’s memoir, explores the continued impact of racial biases in medical education and the distribution of healthcare resources. Dr. Tweedy has written articles about race and medicine for such prestigious publications as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). His columns and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.


Kymberly Keeton, M.L.S., C.A., the African American community archivist at the Austin History Center, will lead a creative writing workshop that highlights the value of archiving African American stories. Local scholar, Dr. Mark Cunningham will lead a discussion about the thematic influence of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poetry and his relevance in our current racial climate.


For more information, contact the Austin African American Book Festival, at info@aaabookfest.org.


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