I just attended a wonderful virtual book event: Amistad Book’s 35th Anniversary celebration!
It was an exclusive, invitation-only event that yours truly scored an ticket to. There I was, minding my business (really minding everyone else’s business) in these Instagram streets when I was tagged to a post. Jackson Agency was calling for bookstagrammers, and bless her heart Winifred of @writingbywinidred and also @w.i.n.i.f.r.e.d.podcast tagged little ol’ me, who has less than 1000 followers (for now). I’m in the smooth 600s right now.
Thanks to that tag, Jackson Agency got in touch with me and invited me to attend Amistad’s virtual event. Of course, through all my readings and job searches, I was well aware of the HarperCollins imprint “dedicated to the African diaspora.” Not to mention, Patrik Henry Bass is an editor there. I used to read his book column in Essence and follow him on Twitter.
Held on Zoom, I was happy to be in the virtual room. My imagination runs wild thinking about attending future in-person events in a post-covid world. Not only was I also familiar with the moderator, Jenn Baker an editor I’ve seen at other book events, like Well-Read Black Girl Festival, but I knew most of the panelists and their books.
The theme of the night was dubbed “Authors in Conversation.”
Actresses Garcelle Beauvais, whose forthcoming book is due April 2022 was in conversation with Tina Lifford, actress on Queen Sugar and author of The Little Book of Big Lies. They discussed the importance self-care.
Dr. Christian Gregory, filmmaker and son of Dick Gregory, and food historian and author of The Cooking Gene Michael Twitty (I recognized him from the great Netflix series High on the Hog) discussed the history and heritage of food and health.
Kinshasha Holman Conwill (Make Good the Promises) and Natalie Baszile (best known for her novel Queen Sugar on which the show is based and her latest nonfiction We Are Each Other’s Harvest) discussed the history of Black land ownership and the robbery of generational wealth.
Comedian and writer/actress for the show Bob ♥ Abishola Gina Yashere (Cack-Handed) and Jenifer Lewis (The Mother of Black Hollywood) struggled to stay on topic to discuss the Black experience, mental health, self-care, surviving the pandemic and other things. This was by far the most entertaining panel. Both ladies are hilarious and have so much energy. Jenifer Lewis struggled to find her light, hopping from room to room and called out for her assistant several times. She even introduced us to her dog. I listened the audioboook of The Mother of Black Hollywood and plan to do so with Jenifer’s second upcoming book. I’ll do the same with Yashere’s Cack-Handed.
The chat was filled with bookstores and authors and regular attendees like me. It was a great night.
My TBR just grew. 🤦🏾♀️