Books are important. Of course I would say this. I’m a writer and I love books. Books help me make sense of the world. They help me escape the world, and open my eyes to ideas and situations I may never have thought of. Many of you likely know the names Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and Alice Walker; each has given treasures to the literary world.
Throughout history so many more black writers have contributed great works. Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright in particular have paved the way for many black writers to pursue publication. For black writers, there are few organizations dedicated to supporting what we do. The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that helps discover black writers, develop their writing abilities, and honor their achievements. The foundation was established in 1990 by award-winning author Marita Golden and bibliophile/cultural historian Clyde McElvene to be a resource center for training and a gateway to ensure the unique experience and voice of African Americans in literature. And it continues to honor black literature.
I have been a supporter of the Hurston/Wright Foundation for several years and have led its week-long fiction workshop for teens in 2013 and 2014. This year, I was honored to be invited to join the board of directors. This is a small foundation with a large impact on the black writing community, offering writing workshops, readings and its annual Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, which honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers.
However, providing resources and events in support of black literature requires finances and as many non-profit organizations know, raising funds can be a challenge. As part of my continuing support, I want to raise $6,000 to help Hurston/Wright continue its mission to discover and honor black writers and black literature. Your donation will help fund:
- an annual monetary award presented to college writers at the Legacy Award Ceremony
- an annual week-long summer workshop for fiction and non-fiction writers led by award-winning authors
- an annual gala honoring and celebrating black writers