The African American Children’s Book Fair Will Be Held Virtually This Year

The 29th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair is taking place virtually this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The event, founded in 1992, is one of the largest and oldest Black children’s book fairs in the country. It usually takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has previously drawn crowds of about 4,000 people. 

The African American Children’s Book Project, the non profit who puts on the event, made registration free. The event is scheduled for Saturday (February 6) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Book Project was created to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans,” Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, the fair’s creator and literary consultant, said in an interview.  

In its first years, the Book Fair was originally an event put on in celebration of Black History Month. It grew into an enormous event that, Lloyd-Sgambati says, sells more books in hours than any other Black book retailer. 

To meet the demand of people looking forward to the event, and accommodate the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, Lloyd-Sgambati worked the phones and got 34 award-winning authors and illustrators from across the US to come to the virtual event. 

Some of the authors attending include Cozbi A. Cabrera, Carole Boston Weatherford, Don Tate, Dhonielle Clayton, and more. 

This year’s theme is “Black Books Are” and Lloyd-Sgambati wants people to take part in the virtual event. 

“The virtual event is free,” she said. “Come. Check it out and be enlightened, be enriched, and be empowered.”

Photo: Getty Images

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