Britain’s Black Book Fair and Festival

0 Posted by - February 1, 2021 - BLACK ART & LITERATURE, LATEST POSTS

The Black Book Fair or The International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books (International Book Fair), was a summit for Black writers, artists, publishers, intellectuals, academics, and readers that ran from 1982 to 1995.

The History of the Black Book Fair and Festival

The original three fairs were based in three London areas throughout April 1982: Islington, Lambeth, and Acton. The three chosen locations were meant to represent the stomping grounds of the founding organizations of New Beacon Books, Race Today, and Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications. John La Rose and Jessica Huntley served as the directors for the event until 1984 with La Rose taking over duties.

The fairs at this time were annual events and were split into the fair portion and the festival portion.

The initial fair occurred on April 1, 1982, and was headed up by Trinidadian writer and historian C.L.R. James in Islington. These events followed a similar format of having forums, speakers, films, readings and closing out with a concert. In short, it was a display of arts from across the diaspora.

The 1982 event saw roughly 6,000 people attend throughout the week. Two years later, the Black Book Fair and related book fairs took place elsewhere in the country. From its inception until 1991, it was held annually with the fairs between 1993 and 1995 running bi-annually. The final fair was held in 1997.


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