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Black Ink


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About the Author

Stephanie Stokes Oliver is the author of Daily Cornbread: 365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit; Seven Soulful Secrets for Finding Your Purpose & Minding Your Mission; and Song for My Father: Memoir of an All-American Family. Formerly the editor of Essence, and founding editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul, she started her magazine career at Glamour. For more information, see

Nikki Giovanni is one of the most decorated poets of our time. She is the recipient of seven NAACP Image Awards, a National Book Award, a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Award, and a Grammy nomination. She is the author of three New York Times bestsellers as well as many poetry collections for children and adults. You can visit her online at


"Black writers have used writing and reading to create, find and sometimes save their lives. Stephanie Stokes Oliver invites the reader into a black magic circle of incendiary, replenishing and inspiring ideas, memories and meditations on the power of literacy and imagination by the writers we treasure. It was a pleasure to re-read established classics and discover new classic arguments for the power of the written and read word."

--Marita Golden "Living Out Loud: A Writer's Journey "

"Just the title of Booker T. Washington's piece: 'A Whole Race Begins to Read' about the eagerness with which former enslaved persons strove to educate themselves, after the Civil War, well, just the thought of it, might bring us to our knees. We were liberated by literacy! And always will be. If Douglass and Washington and others had neglected to learn to read we might still be enslaved. Which should remind us today that television isn't the same as reading. Reading demands the inner work that true liberation requires."
--Alice Walker
"Imagine an intimate, fiery conversation between Frederick Douglass, Roxane Gay, and Barack Obama, in which reading is extolled as among 'the first miracles along the path to Black authorship.' A breathtaking anthology celebrating the power of the written word to forge change."

--O, the Oprah Magazine

"A tantalizing sampler of 25 brilliant black U.S. writers from 1845 to the present... Black Ink is the sort of book that opens doors to other books...a first-rate introduction to some of the best in African American literary culture."--Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"Black Ink presents the brilliant diversity of black thought in America while solidifying the importance of these writers within the greater context of the American literary tradition."--Bustle
"If you have loved ones that cherish words, get them a copy of Black Ink...Stephanie Stokes Oliver gathers the thoughts of the greatest African-American thinkers from Booker T. Washington to Ta-Nehisi Coates. Their insight is priceless."--Essence
" inspiring anthology of excerpts from books and essays by 25 black icons on the dangers and joys of education."

--The Star

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