The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York is celebrating the 4th Annual Black Comic Book Festival on January 16th, and I couldn’t be more excited! The full day event is packed to the brim with workshops, panel discussions, exhibits, film-screenings, and more; it’s nearly impossible to have a chunk of time with nothing to do or see.
The founders of Black Comic Book Day, Deirdre Hollman, Director of the Schomburg Education and Junior Scholars program, Dr. Jonathan Gayles (“White Scripts and Black Supermen”), Jerry Craft (Mama’s Boyz) and John Ira Jennings (Black Kirby, Unveiling Visions) created the festival in the hopes that it would not only inspire other artists to explore the rich and dynamic world of black superheroes, but that it would open up a whole new world of role models for kids who don’t often see themselves represented in comics, science fiction and speculative literature.
This festival has grown leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings back in 2013, when the New York Public library and The Schomburg Junior Scholars sponsored a short afternoon of lectures and hands-on workshops. Over time it has blossomed into the celebration of the artistic abilities found in our community, not only with comics and graphic novels, but contemporary art as well. Some exhibitors will even have art available for purchase.
It will also be the closing day of the John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson curated exhibit Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination.
The festival has free admission (with registration through Eventbrite) and is suitable for all ages. It begins at 10am and ends at 7pm. Can’t make it out to the festival in person? You can watch everything on their livestream or follow along on social media with the hashtags #blackcomicbookfestnyc #BCBFNYC