The CBLC is a place for everyone to come for depth and context when studying black authors and learning their bodies of work. The CBLC regularly hosts authors, poets, civic leaders, scholars, and artists as well as presenting several annual events. Standing on the shoulders of IndyPL`s African American History Committee and current Interim CEO Nichelle M. Hayes, The Center for Black Literature & Culture remains a place for all to learn about contributors to the African Diaspora and for those born of African roots to see themselves reflected in powerful and positive ways.
This year's event will include a variety of speakers, activities, and entertainment including:
- Interim CEO, Nichelle Hayes
- Interim CBLC Manager, Amira Malcom
- African Drumming
- Indy Author Showcase
- CBLC Poet Laureate, Januarie York
- DJ IN4RED & 360 Photobooth
- Kids' Corner Activities
- Colts tight end Kylen Granson
- National Youth Poet Laureate, Alyssa Gaines
- Keynote speaker Nicole A. Cooke, PhD from Indiana Librarians Leading in Diversity (ILLID)
Dr. Nicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Cooke’s research and teaching interests include human information behavior, fake news consumption and resistance, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship.
Dr. Cooke was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in 2007, she was awarded the 2016 ALA Equality Award, and she was presented with the 2017 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, presented by the Office for Diversity and Literacy Outreach Services. She has also been honored as the Illinois Library Association’s 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award winner in recognition of her work in combating online hate and bullying in LIS, and she was selected as the Association for Library and Information Science Education's 2019 Excellence in Teaching award winner. In 2021 she was presented with the Martin Luther King, Jr., Social Justice Award by the University of South Carolina.
Now the founding editor of ALA Neal-Schuman's Critical Cultural Information Studies book series, Cooke has published numerous articles and book chapters. Her books include “Information Services to Diverse Populations” (Libraries Unlimited, 2016), “Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era" (ALA Editions, 2018), and “Foundations of Social Justice (ALA Editions, expected in 2023).
ILLID began in 2008 as a $1 million, 4-year collaborative grant from the institute of Museum and library services to increase ethnic diversity in all types of libraries across the state of Indiana so that library staffs would better reflect the communities they served. The goal of this reunion event is to both celebrate past fellows and also hold focus groups to determine next best steps for addressing disparities in Indiana library employment culture. The information collected will be used to develop a second grant to develop a new class of fellowship recipients.
Kylen Granson is an SMU grad that was drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft to the Indianapolis Colts. Kylen started his own foundation with the help of his mom, KG’s Kids in 2020. KG’s Kids works to emphasize education, starting with reading, to create opportunities for all students to be successful in school.