2012 – 2013 John Oliver Killens Reading Series

February 2013

150th Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation:
The Legacy of Black Civil War Soldiers

Cheryl Wills_picFeaturing NY1’s Cheryl Wills, Author of “Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale”

Sponsor: Black History Month Committee

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Skylight Café, 2nd Floor
Academic Building 1 (AB1)
Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225


Free and Open to the Public

Cheryl Wills, journalist and author of Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale, will present a lecture, “The 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation: The Legacy of Black Civil War Soldiers.” A book signing will follow the presentation.

Wills pays homage to the storied treasure of her great-great-great grandfather, Sandy Wills, who fled his slave master (Edmund Wills) and fought valiantly as a member of the United States Colored Troops from 1863 to 1865.  She weaves the history of slavery, migration, civil rights, and institutionalized racism in America as she chronicles her family’s journey.

Cheryl Wills is an award-winning television personality for Time Warner Cable’s flagship national news network, NY 1 News, based in New York City.

Media Sponsor: WNYC 93.9 FM www.wnyc.org



April 2013

Celebrating Poetry Month Kadijah Sesay_pic
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6: 30 p.m.

President’s Conference Center
Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Free and Open to the Public

In her first poetry collection, Irki (“Homeland” in the Nubian language), Kadija Sesay unlocks experiences and stories—at times amusing and loving, at other times confusing and sad—that surround the “invisibility” of private fostering, the dislocations and negotiations of migration, and home as an imagined, remembered and physical place. Sesay is a literary activist, editor, and publisher of Sierra Leonean descent; she is also the founder and editor of Sable magazine. (Photograph by Vic Ehi)

 DuEwa Frazier_picDuEwa Frazier is a poet, author, and speaker. She is the author of several books of poetry, includingGoddess Under the Bridge: Poems and Ten Marbles and a Bag to Put Them In: Poems for Children.


Tyehimba Jess_picDetroit native Tyehimba Jess’s first book of poetry, Leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.


A Lyric_Pic

  1. Lyric is a multitalented artist born and raised in the Bronx. A graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, this singer, songwriter, actor, poet, and author is constantly challenging and recreating the boundaries of love in all her works. Her recently released first album titled Your Ears Will Thank You Later fuses soul, R&B, blues, funk, and a splash of hip-hop to create a bold, vocally soothing, lyrically provocative sound. A. Lyric has appeared on African Vibes Radio 101.5 FM, Legends Radio, BKS1radio.com & Majormincradio.com. She’s appeared twice on Bronxnet’s Open (Artist Spotlight) with Rhina Valentin and twice with Dr. Bob Lee.

CBL Poetry April 9 Program_mkl_bmg


Gypsy_and_the_Bully door_2013_graphicGYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR
A Play by Nina Angela Mercer
Saturday, April 13, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza


GYPSY & THE BULLY DOOR is a story of race, class, sex, dreams, and the magic we conjure to make it in America and the world.

Free and Open to the Public

Nina A. Mercer picAbout Nina Angela Mercer
Her plays include “Gutta Beautiful:” Racing My Girl, Sally;” “Itagua Meji;” and “Gypsy & The Bully Door.” They have been produced in Washington, D.C, New York City and Trinidad. She is the executive director of Ocean Ana Rising, Inc. She teaches at Medgar Evers College and is currently working on a novel.

See pics in our photo gallery.


September 2013

Butler_The Cover_event_09-21-2013_REDUCEDA Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event
The Center for Black Literature, in Collaboration with Simon & Schuster Publishers and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., Presents

“A Literary Salon: A Conversation with

Authors Wil Haygood and Pamela Newkirk”

The John Oliver Killens Literary Salon
Saturday, September 21, 2013
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.
1368 Fulton St. (between New York and Brooklyn Aves.)
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Phone: 718-636-6900

Award-winning journalist Wil Haygood and New York University professor Pamela Newkirk will be in conversation to discuss Haywood’s recent book, The Butler: A Witness to History (a forth-coming movie), about Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986. A book-signing and reception follow the program.


For directions to Medgar Evers College, CUNY event locations please visit http://www.mec.cuny.edu/directions/

Don’t forget to listen to “Writers on Writing” on WNYE 91.5 FM with Dr. Brenda M. Greene every Sunday 7 – 7:30 PM.


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