ASALH: Author Book Event

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Imagine a gathering of minds bringing forth knowledge, and narratives bearing the history from transatlantic migration to the 21st century...

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During the first week of October 2019, I had two firsts in my life. I visited South Carolina—not just driving through on my way to somewhere else—actually spending five days in Charleston. And I attended the 104th Annual ASALH Meeting and Conference held at the North Charleston Convention Center. The truth is I had no idea what to expect.

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“I was enthralled from the moment I stepped in the conference space . . .”

The theme of the conference, BLACK Migrations, “carries profound symbolic meaning in the context of the history of Charleston and the state of South Carolina in regard to physical and cultural migrations and the journey to freedom.” I was enthralled from the moment I stepped in the conference space, walked down the corridor full of attendees in the bright unmistakable colors, prints and headdresses of the African continent and diaspora; past a multitude of exhibitors and their wares, from books to tees; through the African Marketplace with its kaleidoscopic displays of mud and kente cloth, bold statement jewelry, and the ubiquitous kufi. After breathing all of that in, I made it to the registration desk and, finally, to my destination for the evening—the Author Book Signing Event. How thrilled I was to see my name listed among so many distinguished authors, scholars, and educators! I quickly realized I had stepped into the beginning of something that just might turn out to be a milestone life event.