This past weekend at the Riverside EpiCenter in Austell, GA, the AAMBC Literary Awards honored literary legend Nikki Giovanni and urban literature pioneer Terri Woods in one of the largest gatherings for black literary creatives in the country. In a gala hosted by actor Blue Kimble and comedienne/actress Cocoa Brown, the room was filled with actors, screenwriters, and talented performers, such as up and coming soul singer Ikea Damone.
A record number of guests and presenters from Atlanta’s film and entertainment community supported the awards this year. The connection between literature and Atlanta’s huge movie and television community was apparent, with the hosts being great representatives of that collaboration. Kimble and Brown kept the crowd entertained as the various authors, screenwriters, and performers took the stage.
The gala included a red-carpet reception boasting an intimate exhibit from The Living Testimony Foundation, including original letters from Maya Angelou, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and Booker T. Washington. Guests were serenaded by several artists, including the soulful Jay Morris and the inspirational duo, Will and Alexis.
The highlight of the evening was the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award being presented to acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni. “It was truly a magical moment as so many of our award winners and special guests were in awe of Ms. Giovanni’s presence,” says AAMBC founder, Tamika Newhouse.