Festival Info

Pre-Recorded Black Voices Matter

Karyn Parsons (HOW HIGH THE MOON and Hilary Banks on NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) interviews #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jason Reynolds (STAMPED), Jewell Parker Rhodes (BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER), and #1 New York Times Bestselling author Vashti Harrison (LITTLE LEGENDS). Each of these authors are known for their literary and commercial stories with strong elements of diversity and intersectionality. In their new fiction and non-fiction titles alike, the acclaimed authors shed insightful spotlights on African-American history and identity, as well as timely issues like racism, colorism, and microaggression. Written in accessible ways and meeting pressing cultural needs, these books are must-reads sure to educate, enlighten, and inspire readers of any age.

WHEN: 12:00PM EST on Saturday, 2 May 2020


Karyn Parsons is best known for her role as Will Smith’s ditsy cousin Hilary Banks on NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After leaving acting behind, Karyn has gone on to found and produce Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning series of children’s animated films, to share stories about unsung black heroes in history, featuring narration from stars such as Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Chris Rock, and Laurence Fishburne. The films have screened on HBO and Netflix, and are enjoyed by schools and libraries across the country. Karyn’s debut novel, How High The Moon, hit bookshelves in March 2019.

Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Jason’s many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Correta Scott King Honor, and Look Both Ways, which was a National Book Award Finalist. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, is a collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi. Recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jason has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program and lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

JEWELL PARKER RHODES is the acclaimed author of Ghost Boys, a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback editions, Ninth Ward, winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor, and Sugar, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Her additional novels for young readers include Towers Falling and Bayou Magic. She has also written many award-winning novels for adults. When she’s not writing, Jewell visits schools to talk about her books and teaches writing at Arizona State University. Jewell resides in Seattle, WA.

Vashti Harrison, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. She is an artist and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She earned her BA in studio art and media studies from the University of Virginia and her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts, where she snuck into animation and illustration classes to learn from Disney and DreamWorks legends. There, she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now she uses her love of both film and illustration to craft beautiful stories for children.