On June 27, 2020, the fourteenth annual Austin African American Book Festival will take place online from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CT. This virtual event, titled "We Wear the Mask: Surviving Oppression in the 21st Century," will consist of four Zoom sessions. The festival is free and open to the public, but attendees must register on Eventbrite.

The Austin African American Book Festival, established by Dr. Roz Oliphant Jones and Evelyn Martin Anderson, has been held annually since 2007 and has grown to include nationally recognized authors, a platform for local and regional authors, literary discussions, children’s activities, and a vendor marketplace.

This year's lineup features New York Times bestselling authors Isabel Wilkerson and Damon Tweedy. Tweedy, author of Black Man in a White Coat, will address the impact of racial bias in healthcare, offering insight on how Black patients can navigate the difficult terrain of race and medicine.

Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Warmth of Other Suns, will discuss her upcoming book Caste: The Origins of our Discontent, which examines the unspoken hierarchy of human divisions that has shaped America throughout its history.

kYmberly Keeton, the African American community archivist at the Austin History Center, will lead a creative writing workshop that highlights the value of archiving African American stories. Austin Community College professor Mark Cunningham will lead a session on the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and his relevance in the current moment.

For more information, contact the Austin African American Book Festival at

This program is made possible in part by a Humanities Texas grant.