National Black Book Festival NBBF

National Black Book Festival (NBBF) 2023

National Black Book Festival NBBF

National Black Book Festival NBBF will celebrate the work of authors, writers, and readers. The event will showcase the works of old and new authors.

Join Alexandria House’s Audible HOUSEmates as they get a behind-the-scenes look at the literary process. Meet authors and get your questions answered. Then party under Miami’s starry skies with music by DJs and food by Smorgasburg.

National Black Book Festival 2

About the Festival

Whether they write fiction or nonfiction, poetry or children’s books, these authors are all National Book Award Finalists. Join them as they discuss their writing, the craft of writing, and what it means to be a writer in 2023. Moderated by Tomas Q. Morin, author of Machete and associate professor at Rice University.

During this event, National Book Award winners and finalists in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature and Young People’s Literature will read excerpts from their honored works. The program will also feature a special performance by award-winning poet ONEYDA GONZALEZ. The program will be streamed for free online.

The Library of Congress’s first African American Literary Festival celebrates the contributions of Black writers and their books in a variety of genres and age levels. The festival includes readings and panels, activities for children and youth, food, music, and more. This year’s festival will take place October 31 and November 1 on the University of Arizona campus.

This event features bestselling and award-winning authors discussing their books on a diverse range of topics, from politics and activism to family relationships and the challenges of being a single mother. Panelists include NBCC Literary Legend honorees Ambassador Andrew Young and Alice Walker, author of The Book of Negro, Jesmyn Ward, National Book Award winner for fiction and a MacArthur Fellow, and journalist Tavis Smiley.

The festival opens with the electrifying FLASHBACK: OPENING NIGHT BLOCK PARTY featuring Bronx-born Grammy-award-winning DJ/producer Louie Vega, who seamlessly blends classics and contemporary hip-hop, salsa, house, afro-beat and jazz into a beat that is all his own. Jamar Nicholas, an illustrator and graphic novelist who promotes anti-bullying and healing through visual narrative, will showcase his National Book Award-featured title Leon the Extraordinary, a comic about a fifth-grader with superpowers who must save his class from a dangerous app.


The National Black Book Festival is an interactive community gathering and cultural celebration of African American authors and their work. The festival’s literary-based programming – including author talks, book discussions, pop culture conversations and children’s activities – promotes creativity, activism and positive change. The event is free and open to the public, and many of its events are broadcast on social media.

This year’s Festival celebrates a diverse spectrum of voices and experiences, from historical to contemporary. Its Main Stage brings together some of today’s most powerful authors for speaking engagements and book signings. The festival’s other themed stages address topics of history, poetry and modern life.

Avid readers and lovers of books gather at this annual literary event. This year’s theme is “Literacy is Generational Wealth.” The festival is hosted by the Library of Congress and takes place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This year, the festival will feature more than 400 authors and dozens of panels and workshops.

It is the largest gathering of authors and fans of black literature in the United States. In addition to the main program, the festival features many events for kids and families, a marketplace of local vendors, a New York Public Library mobile library and programs celebrating Juneteenth, which commemorates the day that news of emancipation reached enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865 – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

The festival is sponsored by private and public donors, supporters and corporate sponsors. Its lead benefactor is David M. Rubenstein, who serves as co-chair of the National Book Festival. The Festival is also supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Library of Congress Foundation.

AFRO recently had the pleasure of speaking with an author who will be attending this year’s National Black Book Festival, Nick Brooks. The award-winning writer, actor and rapper is a native of Washington D.C and has written several books for young adults and children. His newest novel, the second in his three book series, “Too Many Interesting Things Happen to Ethan Fairmont,” is set to be released in November 2023.

Ticket Information

NBBF is free and open to the public. All events are recorded and available after the Festival online.

The Opening, Keynote and Closing Addresses are ticketed events. They take place in the Historic Trustees Theater and are hosted by the Festival Headliners. The Festival also features book talks by a wide range of authors, writing workshops, panel discussions, and special events for children and families.

Authors may have specific preferences for signing backlist titles, personalizing books, or allowing photography during their book signings. These preferences will be noted in the event details.

This is the 11th year that Black comic book creators, fans, and enthusiasts have gathered to celebrate their work at the Festival. This popular event includes panel discussions and a cosplay showcase (April 15, 6 PM).


The Festival celebrates the literary and artistic freedom of Black Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation with a series of programs for all ages. This program, hosted by Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati founder of the African American Children’s Book Project, will feature Coretta Scott King Award winning youth authors and illustrators, whose books reflect on the struggles of freedom.

Come join the party! Grammy Award-winning DJ and producer Louie Vega will rock the house with his signature mix of classics, funk, soul, jazz, salsa, r&b, hip hop and more. This night of fun and music kicks off with an electrifying block party under Miami’s starry sky!

A cohort of teen Cinnamon girls spent the year honing their voices and visions with encouragement and instruction from mentors. Join them as they showcase their work and share insights, nuggets of wisdom and, of course, their books!

These authors take classic fairy tales, Broadway musicals and classic twentieth-century social realist novels as jumping off points for their own original works. Join two poets and a novelist as they discuss how these classic sources inform their own works while standing on their own two feet.

What better way to close out the Festival than with a rousing and sure-to-be-hilarious conversation between W. Kamau Bell (host of CNN’s United Shades of America and author of The Awkward Thoughts of a 6′ 4’’, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning Blerd) and Kate Schatz (author of Rad Women series). They will talk about their new book, an intentionally funny “guide” for safely (humor helps!) wading into the minefield that is a discussion of racism.

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