MahoganyBooks Indie | PENNED Event

Join us May 21, 2022 as we celebrate a summer filled of local authors. We love our community and want to celebrate those from our communities whose stories move us to great lengths. Join us for our kick off Indie | PENNED event, featuring Michelle Coles, Tricia Elam Walker, and Tiffany Warren.

Event Details: May 21, 2022, 1-3 PM, MahoganyBooks National Harbor (121 American Way, Oxon Hill, MD 20745)

Black Was The Ink by Michelle Coles

Through the help of a ghostly ancestor, sixteen-year-old Malcolm is sent on a journey through Reconstruction-era America to find his place in modern-day Black progress.

Forgotten heroes still leave their mark.

Malcolm Williams hasn’t been okay for a while. He’s angry and despondent and feels like nothing good ever happens for teens like him in D.C. All he wants is to be left alone in his room for the summer to draw or play video games–but no such luck. With growing violence in his neighborhood, his mother ships him off to his father’s family farm in Mississippi, and Malcolm is anything but pleased.

A few days after his arrival, his great-aunt tells him that the State is acquiring the farm to widen a highway. It’s not news Malcolm is concerned about, but someone plans to make it his concern. One minute Malcolm is drawing in the farmhouse attic, and the next he’s looking through the eyes of his ancestor Cedric Johnson in 1866.

As Cedric, Malcolm meets the real-life Black statesmen who fought for change during the Reconstruction era: Hiram Revels, Robert Smalls, and other leaders who made American history. But even after witnessing their bravery, Malcolm’s faith in his own future remains shaky, particularly since he knows that the gains these statesmen made were almost immediately stripped away. If those great men couldn’t completely succeed, why should he try?

Malcolm must decide which path to take. Can Cedric’s experiences help him construct a better future? Or will he resign himself to resentments and defeat?

Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Nic Stone, and featuring illustrations by upcoming artist, Justin Johnson, Black Was the Ink is a powerful coming-of-age story and an eye-opening exploration of an era that defined modern America.

Michelle Coles is a debut novelist, experienced civil rights attorney, and mother of four. As a 9th generation Louisianan, she is highly attuned to the struggles that African Americans have faced in overcoming the legacy of slavery and the periods of government-sanctioned discrimination that followed. Her goal in writing is to empower young people by educating them about history and giving them the tools to shape their own destiny. 

Dream Street by Tricia Elam Walker

Discover the true meaning of community in this gorgeous picture book about a very special street bursting with joy, hope, and dreams. An award-winning illustrator and critically acclaimed author pay tribute to the neighborhood where they grew up as cousins– “a place where love abounds (The Horn Book, starred review). 

Welcome to Dream Street–the best street in the world! On Dream Street, love between generations rules, everyone is special, and the warmth of the neighborhood shines.  

Meet kids like Azaria, who loves to jump double-Dutch one leg at a time; Zion, whose dream is to become a librarian; and cousins Ede and Tari, who dream of creating a picture book together one day. Meet grown-ups like Mr. Sidney, a retired mail carrier who greets everyone with the words, Don’t wait to have a great day. Create one! and Ms. Sarah, whose voice is only a whisper but who has stories between the lines of her face that she’ll share when you come close. 

A magical story from the critically acclaimed author of Nana Akua Goes to School and a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrator. Illuminating this vivid cast of characters are vibrant, joyful illustrations that make this neighborhood–based on the Roxbury neighborhood in Boston where the author and illustrator grew up together as cousins–truly sing. This book is a perfect way for parents to share with their children the importance of community.

Target Age Group: 4-8 years old (PreK-3rd grade)

Tricia Elam Walker is an award-winning author, educator and recovered lawyer.  Her novel, Breathing Room, was published by Simon & Schuster/PocketBooks. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Essence and other publications.  She has provided commentary for NPR, CNN, the BBC and more.  

Tricia’s short stories are included in the O.Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South and other anthologies and her essays are published in Father’s Songs, Dream Me Home Safely, It’s All About Love and more.  Several of her plays have been produced and her first children’s book, Nana Akua Goes to School, was published by Random House in June 2020 and won a 2021 Children’s Africana Book Award and the 2021 Ezra Jack Keats writer award.  Her second picture book, Dream Street was published in November 2021, has garnered five starred reviews and is a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2021 selection.

Tricia is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University and resides in Takoma Park, MD with her husband.

All The Things I Meant To Tell You by Tiffany Warren

From award-winning, Essence(R) bestselling author Tiffany L. Warren, the warm, relatable, drama-filled story of three successful, forty-something women who broke all their dating rules in their search for Mr. Right. They found more straight-up satisfaction–and commitment–than they ever believed possible. But with their bold choices have come unexpected challenges…

At last, shy Kimberly has the love she’s longed for–complete with a lavish destination wedding. But her fiancé’s past relationships, and her baggage, are about to turn their special dream day into a perfect nightmare…

Meanwhile, a shattering business reversal has all-about-the-money Hahna at odds with the young boho writer she loves–and tempted big-time by the man who got away…And Twila is still reeling from a sexual assault–and out for revenge, no matter what the personal cost. Now the trio must push their sisterhood bonds to the breaking point to hold on to their sanity–and their hard-won happiness.

Tiffany Warren began her writing career in 2003 when she signed with Walk Worthy Press to publish her debut, What a Sista Should Do. She has gone on to publish over thirty full-length novels (eleven under pen name Nikki Carter) with Hachette Book Group and Kensington Books (Dafina). Tiffany has also independently published seven novellas. 

In addition to writing books, Tiffany has a love for theatre, especially musicals. She has used her songwriting talent to write and produce several stage plays: What a Sista Should Do, The Replacement Wife and Just Like Yo’ Daddy, which featured many familiar faces like the late Tommy Ford (Martin), Grammy winning Shirley Murdock, Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show) and Christian Keyes to name a few. 

Tiffany’s latest venture has been in the film realm with book to film projects. Her 2015 release, The Favorite Son, is now a movie produced by Swirl Films streaming on BET+ and airing on BET. Her second film project is a holiday adaptation of The Replacement Wife called Sound of Christmas being produced by MegaMind Media. 

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