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CBLC Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration

The Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library will host the 7th Annual Book Fest and Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. offering a glimpse into African American Art, literature, and storytelling.

This year’s author presentation is showcasing African Americans & the Arts. We will be asking our authors to highlight works inspired by different representations of art in the African American community. The day will include performances by Poet Laurent Januarie York, a feature film showing from IU Bloomington Black Film Center & Archive, African Drumming by Siteaw Inc, a music performance by Jamie Johnson, DJN4Red, and a Photo 360 photobooth.

Our featured speaker will be NY Times Bestselling & USA Today top 100 Author JaQuavis Coleman who will come and talk about his new book, answer a few Q&A, and have an hour for book singing and purchases.

Would you like to be a featured author?

Featured authors will receive table space to network with other authors, meet the public, and promote books. Set up will occur between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on the morning of June 15th. You do NOT have to fill out more than one application if you are interested in showcasing more than one book. Should you choose to do a short individual presentation of your work in the Center for Black Literature & Culture with a short Q&A, a short bio and image of your book's cover will be required. *Note that not everyone will be able to present at this year's Author Fast Forward.

Tables and seating are limited. Submissions for consideration will be accepted through May 26, 2024. Complete this application to be considered. The application will take approximately 7-10 minutes to complete. If you have questions or futher concerns, please email Bryanna Barnes.

Juneteenth is a national holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Texans two years after the signing of the emancipation proclamation in 1863. Learn more about Juneteenth.

The CBLC Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration is sponsored by the Library's African American History Committee in support of the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library.

Center for Black Literature & Culture

IndyPL Recommends: Juneteenth Reads

Juneteenth is often celebrated by reading the works of prominent Black authors. Below, we have selected reads on the history of Juneteenth, emancipation and freedom, reconstruction, and celebration.

Hidden Black History : From Juneteenth to Redlining

Green, Amanda Jackson

What are important moments in Black American history that have not been part of our shared education and national narrative? Discover the people and events you didn’t know, until now.


The Story Behind the Celebration

Cotham, Edward T.

Tells the complex story of Juneteenth and the facts and legends that lead to what promises to become a national holiday.

On Juneteenth

Gordon-Reed, Annette

Author and historian Annette Gordon-Reed ‘s Pulitzer prize winning research skills reveal the history of Juneteenth, which she deftly pairs with her personal reflections on the history and politics that shaped her own experiences as a Black woman in Texas. A unique and fascinating memoir.

The Juneteenth Table: Putting a Twist on Tradition

Celebrate Juneteenth with culinary creations, both traditional and modern! Each title contains recipes that call back to African heritage, African-American history, and long-held traditions of eating red foods for health, happiness, and celebration. Add something new to your Juneteenth table with these delicious offerings below. Happy Cooking!

Watermelon & Red Birds

A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations

Taylor, Nicole A.

The ultimate Juneteenth cookbook, packed with recipes like Beef Ribs with Fermented Harissa, Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, and Ginger Pound Cake! You won't be disappointed with any of the offerings. If you find yourself flustered at the thought of making your own sauces or marinades, the author provides handy dandy wisdom and recommendations to carry you along on your culinary journey. She provides lists of BIPOC companies (who make fabulous sauces, rubs, and other mixes) to support your quest to have the perfect Juneteenth table.

My America

Recipes From A Young Black Chef

Onwuachi, Kwame

Not only will this book encourage you to be a better chef, but it will also help you take chances with your cooking that you hadn't previously entertained. With more than 125 recipes celebrating the African Diaspora, "My America" will leave you and your family smiling. There's a reason why this book won Bon Appetit's Best Book of the Year Award!

Ghetto Gastro Black Power Kitchen

Gray, Jon

Ghetto Gastro is a culinary collective that celebrates Black culture, using food as a means to speak out about issues like race, inclusion, equity, and accessibility. They focus on access to food and knowledge of cooking and how both aspects can lead to power, lifting up both individuals and their communities. This book is their manifesto and centers on food as a means of nourishment and advancement. The recipes and writing will positively knock your socks off. This is one title that's not to be missed!