Literary Event of the Week: The Seattle Urban Book Expo at the Northwest African American Museum

It's no mystery that we are big fans of the Seattle Urban Book Expo, which celebrates Seattle's Black and brown authors and publishers. We've attended the festival, we've interviewed founder JL Cheatham II, and we've written about Seattle Urban Book Expo authors.

But it comes down to this: if you love books in Seattle and you don't know the authors on the list of Seattle Urban Book Expo's attendees, you owe it to yourself to come on down and familiarize yourself with this important part of the literary community. We're big fans of Kamari Bright, who was the July Poet in Residence here last year, and we also recommend poets Rasheedah Roberson, Kiana Davis, and Cheatham, who published a new children's book this year.

Now that the event is entering its fourth year — it takes place this Saturday afternoon at the Northwest African-American Museum — the Seattle Urban Book Expo is enjoying a moment of maturity: it's been around long enough that it's a known quantity, but it still has room to grow. If you wanted to make your mark in the community, there's still a space for you.

This year's Expo actually begins a day early with two panels featuring Expo attendees discussing "their personal experience in book publishing, the importance of diversity in literature, and give advice to those who want to create their own work."

At a time when white people are moving into traditionally PoC spaces in Seattle, it's more important than ever to claim a time and space to talk about why Black voices are so necessary in Seattle right now. For three years, the Seattle Urban Book Expo has been devoted to exactly that: making space for voices to be heard.

Northwest African American Museum 2300 S Massachusetts St, Seattle, WA 98144 206-518-6000, 12 pm, free.