Art: Book of Cures by Barbara Earl Thomas. Courtesy of the artist and Clair Oliver Gallery
JUNE 14 - 19 2021
The Schomburg Center Literary Festival.p
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The Virtual EditioN

Book of Cures by Barbara Earl Thomas

Courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery and Barbara Earl Thomas

Photo by Spike Mafford Photography

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June 14 - 19, 2021

Thank you for tuning into the 3rd Annual Schomburg Center Literary Festival Words Like Freedom!  This year’s festival honored the talents of some of our greatest contemporary writers who we gathered from across the country and around the world, to offer an intergenerational exploration of freedom. The festival is built on the foundation created by Arturo Schomburg--encouraging freedom of thought, the relentless pursuit of Black history, and the engagement of our imagination towards our collective freedom. We hope you consider the The Schomburg Center Literary Festival a destination you can return to year after year to see yourself and to expand your understanding of Black cultures through literature.

Our Sponsors

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival is generously sponsored by

The New York Life Foundation and

Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation

Book of Cures by Barbara Earl Thomas. Cut paper and hand-printed color.Courtesy Claire Oliver Galley
Schomburg Center logo - gold "S" circle only

Book of Cures by Barbara Earl Thomas

Courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery and Barbara Earl Thomas

Photo by Spike Mafford Photography

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Watch you favorite program on our YouTube page. 

  • WATCH | Land of the Free with Natalie Baszile and Dara Cooper

  • WATCH | Two Freedoms: Speech and Guns with Ellis Cose and Carol Anderson and Dr. C. Nicole Mason 

  • WATCH | Freedom to Publish featuring Dr. Haki Madhubuti and Chris Jackson, and ​Brian Tate (watch)

  • No Small Voice

    • WATCH | Jupiter Invincible by Yusef Komunyakaa, Ashley A. Wood, and Ram Devineni with moderator, Tim Fielder

    • WATCH | Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne, with moderator, Kadiatou Tubman 

    • WATCH | Children’s Books with Jodie Patterson, Rio Cortez, Angela Dalton and Kadiatou Tubman 

    • WATCH | Black Boy Joy! with Isaac Fitzsimons, Kwame Mbalia, and Julian Winters

  • Words Like Freedom

    • WATCH | Read Until You Understand ​by Farah Jasmine Griffin in conversation with Tressie McMillan Cottom

    • WATCHHOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith, with moderator, Dr. Andrea Roberts 

    • WATCH | One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race By Dr. Yaba Blay, with moderator Dr. Courtney R. Baker

    • WATCH | Prayer for the Living by Ben Okri, with moderator Chris Abani

    • WATCH | Long Division by Kiese Laymon and Let My People Vote: Battle to Restore the Civil Rights of Returning Citizens by Desmond Meade​with Moderator by Reginald Dwayne Betts

    • WATCH | Mama Phife Represent by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor and ​The Renunciations: Poems by Donika Kelly, with moderator, Novella Ford

    • WATCH | A Girl is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi​, moderated by Dr. Ainehi Edoro-Glines

    • WATCH | Voices from Harlem presented by Harlem Writers Guild featuring John Robinson, Marc Polite, Angela Dews, Malik Kirkwood, Eartha W. Hicks, Robert Woodbine, Kay Bell, Judy Andrews, and Minnette Coleman

    • WATCH | READERS & WRITERS: A Conversation with Hanif Abdurraqib and Dawnie WaltonA Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib



Schomburg Center's Black Liberation

Reading List

Explore essential titles selected by the Schomburg Center as it marks 95 years of collecting and preserving Black history, arts, and culture. Available on SimplyE and from the Schomburg Shop.


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Audre Lorde Zoom panel image of Tracy K. Brown, Mahogany L. Brown, Salamishah M. Tillet, Roxane Gay

You can revisit the 2019, 2020, and 2021 festivals at anytime.  See the line-up or rewatch the programs on Livestream.

Schomburg Center logo - gold "S" circle only


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