Literary dinner celebrates local African American authors

Submitted photo Carolyn Holbrook

The works of local African American authors will take center stage at Strive Publishing’s 2nd Annual Literary Dinner on Friday, Aug. 16. The event aims to celebrate and showcase the recently published works of these authors to the greater Twin Cities’ literary community.

The evening will include a keynote presentation by Carolyn Holbrook, adjunct professor of creative writing at Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts Creative Writing Program, founder of the discussion series “More Than a Single Story,” and co-author of Dr. Josie Johnson’s new memoir, Hope in the Struggle.

Guests attending the event will enjoy dinner, meet local authors and learn about each author’s published works. They also will receive a free copy of Strive Publishing’s curated catalog of local African American children’s books, authors and collaborators.

Throughout the evening, guests can win door prizes, visit the parking lot to purchase books at Babycake’s Book Stack, a new mobile bookstore featuring books about people, languages and different cultures, and participate in Green Card Voices’ Story Stitch, a guided storytelling card activity designed to build empathy between different cultures.

Strive Publishing, LLC., was founded in 2016 by Mary Taris to fill the void she recognized during her 15 years as a teacher: the lack of works published by African American authors and the persistent need for more diverse books that provide children with real-life perspectives of African American culture.

“I believe every child should have the experience of seeing their lives validated in the books they read,” says Mary Taris, founder and CEO of Strive Publishing, LLC.

Submitted photo Mary Taris

Since its inception, Strive Publishing has published a number of children’s picture books, including Under the Cloven Sky, by Ricardo G. Peters; Isaiah’s Sunglasses, written by Linda S. Miller; and Red’s Adventures: The Egg Pie, written by Donna Gingery. Later in 2019, Strive Publishing will introduce its next publication: A Wild Nature Embraced, the second in the YA series written by Ricardo G. Peters.

Taris’ vision for the publishing firm is to fill this void by creating a collective within the publishing industry that encourages African American authors and artists to collaborate and form community partnerships. By creating this collaborative, she hopes to eliminate the disparity in the industry and establish a publishing business that illuminates the authentic African American voice and connects other underrepresented voices.

The dinner will be held at Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center. Tickets for the event are $50 to $60 and can be purchased in advance here.