By Marc W. Polite
Despite unfavorable weather, this year’s Harlem Book Fair took place. Originally planned to be outside the State Office Building, the event was forced to move indoors due to tropical storm Orphelia. Hosted by Bob McNeil, the fair continued on in the Alhambra Ballroom across the street from the previous host space.
While the full list of authors present is available on the official site, there were some authors that I came across that I did not know of before. Among them are Precious L. Williams, author of “The Pitch Queen”, Marcus Eaddy, author of “The Jack Squad”, and Ezekiel Springer, Jr., author of “The Ananda Accords”. I also noticed a vendor promoting Ireadify, a digital library of children’s books. There was a recognition of authors, culminating in the Black Authors Hall of Fame award. Walter Mosley was one of the honorees present.
Aside from the authors present, Harlem Book Fair 2023 was a recognition of 25 years of this event. Started in 1998 by Max Rodriguez, the Harlem Book Fair is an important occurrence on the literary scene of New York City. The significance of this anniversary was noted in a surprise appearance by New York City Mayor Eric Adams later in the afternoon. The mayor spoke about the importance of literacy.
All in all, I am grateful that I was able to attend, and that the event was able to carry on in spite of the weather.