The power of words and actions!

Still in rapture after last Saturday afternoon’s successful, “Read A Black Author,” flash mob. The aim of this fantastic event was to raise awareness of black authors and poets; boy did we raise awareness!

There I was at 2:45 smiling as I approached the famous Nottingham Market Square lions. Grinding to a halt, I pondered whether or not we were gathering at the left or right lion. The right beast stared into the grey distance, whilst a few Saturday afternoon shops sat at its feet gazing lovingly into their plastic bags. Onwards to the right lion; this is the spot I thought. Before long Panya Banjoko arrived, booked poised and smiling expectantly; it was about to begin.

Whilst Panya and I chatted about which books we’d bought (read on for further info), our fellow readers gathered – books aloft, glasses ready and a determination to raise awareness.

Greetings over, we sat down on the marbled steps of Nottingham’s Council House and got our books ready; a hush descended. We began to read. Initially I was aware of the inquisitive looks of shoppers and pedestrians, though soon they disappeared like shifting clouds in the distance; we became immersed in our reading. Not a sound was heard.

All too soon the event was over and we chatted for a while as we compared books. What a wonderful way to share a love of reading and writing – especially by black writers who are underrepresented in all levels of the writing industry.




Some of the attendees included:

Panya Banjoko – poet, performer, author and Unesco City of Literature Patron.

Sand Mahal –  UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature Director

Members of Black Writers and Artists Network


Books read included:

Blessings in the Storm by Carolyn Clarke

Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash

Hari at the Castle by Panya Banjoko

Oscar the Curious Cat by R M Stevens

Nottingham Connection by Lee Auboin

New Horizons of Hope by Victoria Williams

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Plot by Claudia Rankine


I look forward to next year’s event.


Charmaine Smith












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