The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, is bringing two of its awarded authors for a free event at the Melrose Library on Thursday, August 29th. This is being made possible because of the foundation’s ongoing relationship with the City of Roanoke Public Libraries and the City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which is a partner in the foundation’s Book Rich Environments program.
The Melrose Library, which opened on July 22nd, is the largest branch library in the city. Sharing a campus with Goodwill Industries of the Valleys and featuring a youth STEAM lab, business center, meeting spaces, and art by the late artist Dorothy Gillespie, the project is part of the neighborhood’s transformation plan. If you haven’t had a reason to visit yet, the August 29th event will be a great opportunity.
Historian Ibram X. Kendi was the youngest author to win the National Book Award for nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, (Bold Type Books, 2017). The book was a Washington Post and Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and the NAACP Image Award Finalist for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction. The history runs from fifteenth-century Europe into the twenty-first century in five sections, each with a “tour guide” of thought of their era. Kendi is a professor of history and international relations at American University.
Paired with Kendi for the event will be Justin Phillip Reed. The poet and essayist is originally from South Carolina, and now lives in St. Louis. He won the award in 2018 for his poetry collection, Indecency (Coffee House Press, 2018).
We’ll have readings from both speakers, conversation, and the National Book Foundation will give away books. The authors will be available to sign books after the presentation.
More shots from the Melrose Library dedication events.