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South Florida Book Festival Announced for July 13-15, 2023 at the African American Research Library

"WORD! Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop Culture" brings together literature and visual and performing arts, featuring leaders, authors and scholars of Florida hip-hop community, from July 13 to 15 at Broward County Library's African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC), 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311.

Founded in 2012, the South Florida Book Festival is one of the fastest growing events of its kind across the southeast region, presenting celebrity authors and respected thought leaders in contemporary culture. Attendees are invited to explore the cultural explosion born from the hip-hop phenomenon, hear from national speakers, learn the roots of hip-hop culture and meet local authors.

"Like blues and jazz, hip-hop represents the creative expression by marginalized groups through spoken word and rhythm," says Dr. Tameka Hobbs, Library Regional Manager of AARLCC. "We are excited to explore the elements of the culture, including storytelling, DJing, dance and art during the festival. There will be something for everyone."

Dr. Rocky Bucano, Executive Director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum in New York City notes, "From the now legendary declaration [by musician Andre 3000] that, 'The South Got Something to Say,' regional hip-hop from South Florida has been incredibly influential. Their lyrical storytelling style continues in the tradition of the African griot, telling not only their story, and also the stories of others. And with a legacy descended from the historic libraries of Timbuktu, the African American Research Library and Cultural Center preserves these stories from our culture for future generations to come."

Scheduled activities and presenters include:

Thursday, July 13

  • 10:30AM - 3PM - Youth Day featuring New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and activities with Girls Make Beats and the Museum of Graffiti. 

  • 6:30 - 8PM - T.W.E.R.K. (Transnational artistic dance Works and practices that Evoke Revolutionary Kinship) by the Olujimi Dance Theater. 

Friday, July 14

  • 6 - 7:30PM - An Evening with Kevin Powell, one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary hip-hop voices in America today.

  • 7 - 10PM - Eat. Drink. Read. "Kicks and Sips" Edition, featuring DJ Demp. Must be 21 years old or over to attend this ticketed event ($75); proceeds benefit the South Florida Book Festival.  

Saturday, July 15

10:30 AM - 5PM - South Florida Book Festival

  • Rob Kenner, author of The Marathon Don't Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle

  • Dr. Regina Bradley, author of Chronicling Stankonia: The Birth of the Hip-Hop South

Registration is requested. Events and programs are free unless otherwise noted. For questions or additional information about South Florida Book Festival, contact Tramiya Fitzpatrick,  or 954-357-6190.

The South Florida Book Festival 2023 is presented by Visit Lauderdale and sponsored by Universal Hip Hop Museum, Museum of Graffiti, Bank of America, Holman Honda, Cox Media Group and the Friends of AARLCC. Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

By ML Staff. Images Courtesy of South Florida Book Festival


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