The 2013 African American Literary Awards celebrates black authors in NYC

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The 2013 African American Literary Awards once again gave black authors and publishers of African American content a platform to celebrate each other. Held on a breezy Manhattan night at Landmark On the Park in Central Park West, the show was hosted by motivational speaker/personality C.J. Miller and best-selling author Reshonda Tate-Billingsley.

Notable winners included Walter Mosely, Rev. Run and Tyrese Gibson, as well as Selena James and Adeola Saul (representatives of Kensington Publishing), and teen authors Stone Erickson (who’s Black Angel won the Best Science Fiction award) and When I Decided To D.R.E.A.M. Big author Tori Turner.

“There aren’t a lot of young people who see…the celebration of [literature] a lot of kids in our high schools, if they knew that, by channeling thoughts and writing stories, their fantasies can become reality,” explained Miller. “I wanted to get behind this movement–I believe in it.”

AALAS founder Yvette Hayward also shared why she has been such a passionate advocate for African American literature and made it a priority to launch such an awards show.

“I started out as a literacy publicist and there were so many music awards shows, and I said ‘I want to do something for authors!'” Hayward explained. “It took a while for it to happen, but finally in 2004 I gave birth to the African American Literary Awards show.”

“If I can make a difference for African American authors…then I feel like I’ve done my job,” she added. “I have up to 30 categories of literature and 100s of authors that I may be introducing. We read, we write and we touch lives.”

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