RingShout Launch Party
"Rain be damned, I'm getting my swerve on," had to be the preeminent thought of at least 125 folks that attended the inaugural event of ringShout on Friday night at Random House. Even though it was a monsoon outside and I was tired, I was even more curious about this ringShout event. ringShout, a consortium of Black writers, editors, and publishing heads was established in response to the lack of exposure, shelf space and buzz for African-American writers. The organization's founders—authors Martha Southgate (who got the proverbial Movement started with her piece in the NY Times magazine), Eisa Nefertari Ulen, Bridgett Davis, Cave Canems Alison Myers and Random House editor Chris Jackson say that ringShout is dedicated to "recognizing, reclaiming and celebrating literary fiction and non fiction by black writers." Personally I think this group was/is sorely needed whether Street Lit was trouncing literary types or not. Im not mad at Zane, or for that matter, feel that she is nabbing would be readers of Edwidge Danticat or Shay Youngblood. Two different audiences altogether, but there definitely is a need for Black writers and publishers to build coalitions by and for authors and aspiring writers. Needless to say I guess I wasn't alone in this presumption as there was a buzz in the room and it wasn’t from sipping all that wine! This was hands-down the best networking event Ive attended in years! Folks were anxious to give out their business cards, offer editorial advice, give insider info on new projects and freelance opportunities. It was a homecoming long overdue. I can't wait for the next gathering.
ringShout Co-founders Bridgett, Eisa, & Martha
Writer/Author Michael Gonzales, Vibe Editor-in-Chief Danyel Smith, & Sandra Jamison
Uptown Magazine Online Editor Sekou Writes, CosmoGirl Senior Editor Tara Roberts, Martha, and Blogger/Publicist Rob Fields