I have had the honor of hosting the African American Literary Awards for the past five years of its six year history. Awards creator Yvette Hayward and East West PR’s Joy Doss recruited me for the unique literary awards show as I was getting started hosting the BET short film competition. Once again heavy hitters from Ebony Magazine to the New York Daily News were on hand to support the African American Literary Awards. This year was definitely my favorite.
Most Memorable Literary Awards Show Moments (for Me)
1) Cornel West. We all know when we’re in the presence of greatness. This year’s show honored Sonia Sanchez, Cornel West, Hill Harper and Terrie Williams. I’d met all of the other nominees but I had never met Dr. Cornel West. I’m still a geek at heart so pop stars be damned. I had no butterflies when interviewing Chris Rock but Cornel West, Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Eve Ensler, thump thump thump. We received a fantastic lecture that evening about personal power. Bravo!
2) Sonia Sanchez. What else is there to say? Even in my flat flip flops carefully hidden under my gown I towered physically over this diminutive powerhouse but NO ONE towers over this literary giant, this mistress of words, and bender of emotions. Crone power is lost in our society. We don’t honor our elders enough. Sonia Sanchez, we thank you.
2) Actors and African American Literary Award Winners Sherri Shepherd and Hill Harper couldn’t make it to the show because they were both filming in Los Angeles but were kind enough to send fun video speeches saying, thank you.
3) Dawn Richard from Diddy’s Dirty Money and Danity Kane and Beverly Bond brought beauty and grace to the stage in my favorite fashion moments.
4) Terrie Williams was introduced by Oprah author Wes Moore in a powerful moment. If you don’t know who Terrie Williams is, do your research about this caring publicist, author and humanitarian. Several other authors also spoke about Terrie’s generosity and love for others.
5) Carol Mackey of Black Expressions received a round of applause from the authors in the audience. She has supported so many people over the years. I know that Carol was a big supporter of my novel Dare. Check out her new book Sistergirl Devotions.