On Saturday we (myself, Nia Forrester and Lily Java) hosted Wine with Writers for the second time in Atlanta—and it was so dope. The panelists, the authors who came and dedicated their time, and of course, the readers, made it awesome and memorable. Here are five reasons why it goes down as one of my favorites.
1. The panel. The author panel this year was fire. We talked #blackloverevolution and man, when I say these women brough the heat... I'm not even joking. Joan Vassar, Piper Huguley and Nako were just phenomenal as they broke down the importance of celebrating black love, exploring and bringing the full humanity of black folks to their work, and so much more. At one point, my husband Mike literally shouted, "Joan for president!"—that's how ill she was with the breakdown. Hats off these incredibly smart, wise, women, and the books they create and share with us.
2. The volunteers were incredible. I feel like I can't say it enough—THANK YOU so much to everyone who volunteered and made this event a success. I can't front- I'm not the best at asking for help. I'm a pretty self-contained, do it all myself kind of person (which is not good, btw). But the second I asked you for help, you came through, with no hesitation, smiling, and down for whatever, and I am so, so thankful for you. This would not have worked without y'all, period, and that isn't lost on me. Kristen, Ciarra Hodges, Terri Gordon-Winston-- I love y'all for real (thanks for the pictures, Terri) And to my husband Mike, who was invaluable before, during and after the event-- keeping things moving, lifting and moving heavy stuff, helping with organization, taking great photos, etc., etc., etc., and on and on and on... Thank you. I married well.
3. The readers! I'm always blown away when people tell me they drove from other states to attend Wine with Writers. I know for sure we had folks from Alabama (hi, Enecia!), Houston (hi, Kay!), TN (hi, Vanita!), and North Carolina... and I'm sure I've missed some places. Like, you have no idea how humbled we are by your support of this indie author community. You are all awesome and inspiring.
4. The authors. Beyond the panel, there were a lot of writers in the house. Special shout out to incredibly talented writers DL White and Michelle Mitchell who were in attendance signing books, and just generally being dope. Your live readings were both fantastic and added a special element to the night. Sharon C. Cooper, Lauren H. Kelly, Chicki Brown, Chelle Ramsey, and more who I may be missing, thanks for showing up and supporting-- your presence was super appreciated.
5. Peters Street Station is awesome. Seriously, the staff was so kind and helpful-- and they're so supportive of the black creative community in Atlanta, they deserve a special shout out. So does that dope mural on the side of the building by @thepainterbae, which sums up the entire event... "Hey Brown Girl, You're Beautiful" ...