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Black Boys Dreaming Book Launch

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Celebrate the launch of a new teen-authored book, Black Boys Dreaming: Virtual Verse & Pandemic Prose

About this event

Shout Mouse Press and Beacon House will celebrate the launch of a new teen-authored book, Black Boys Dreaming: Virtual Verse & Pandemic Prose, online via Zoom on Tuesday, October 28th at 6:30 p.m. The launch will celebrate the authors of this joyous work—Khalil Barnes, Chase Cooper, Kevin Crawford and Josiah Ouabo—and affirm the lives of Black men and boys as they continue to play, imagine, and dream in a world where they are so often stifled and weaponized.

The young authors will be joined at the launch by acclaimed writers and poets Rasheed Copeland, Tony Keith Jr., Julian Randall, as well as a founding member of the Shout Mouse Megaphone Board, Jason Reynolds. These four luminaries, in conversation with the authors, will share what Black Boys Dreaming means to them, particularly amidst the challenges of the past months.

About the Authors:

Kevin Crawford wrote “The Tale of Two Kobes” when he was a freshman at the Washington Leadership Academy. In his free time, he likes to watch basketball, read, and nap. He enjoyed participating in this project because he was able to experience what it was like to be an author. He wants his audience to know that if they experience a loss, their idols can still be remembered in their accomplishments. When he is older he wants to go to college and become a math teacher.

Khalil Barnes was 14 years old when he wrote “Survivor.” He likes to read and also play video games. He lives in Washington, DC and goes to Washington Leadership Academy Public Charter School. He’s interested in learning to cook for himself and reading harder books. When he grows up, he would like to be a voice actor. He believes people should read his story because it has an important message: "Stop bullying, and remember that everyone’s life matters."

Chase Cooper was 13 years old when he wrote “Hoops and Hopes.” He lives in Washington, DC and goes to DC Prep. In his free time, he likes to play basketball. He also really enjoys riding his bike, playing video games, and writing, although he is still getting used to doing it on a computer (he has very nice handwriting). When he grows up, he would like to be a civil engineer. He believes people should read his story because he believes that during these times people should read more about young Black men. He also believes that his story contains messages that are amusing, powerful, and useful.

Josiah Ouabo was 13 years old when he wrote “Zim and the Quest for the Cloak.” He lives in Washington, DC and goes to DC Prep. He likes to have discussions with friends and also play video games. He’s interested in anime and documentaries. When he grows up, he would like to be a United States Marine. People should read his story because it’s fantasy and it is very suspenseful.

About the Guest Authors:

Jason Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people, including Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, a National Book Award finalist that was named a Best Book of 2019 by NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post and TIME. A native of Washington, D.C.,Reynolds began writing poetry at age nine and is the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award and multiple Coretta Scott King Award honors. His book (with Ibram X. Kendi), Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Jason is the 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and CBS This Morning. He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com.

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Callaloo, BOAAT, Tin House, Milkweed Editions, and The Watering Hole. Julian is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Julian is the winner of the 2019 Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle and the 2019 Frederick Bock Prize. His poetry has been published in New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and POETRY and anthologized in The Breakbeat Poets Vol.4, Nepantla, and Furious Flower. He has essays in The Atlantic, Vibe, Black Nerd Problems, and other venues. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Ole Miss. His first book, Refuse, won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. He was also a contributor to the #1 New York Times-bestseller Black Boy Joy. His Middle-Grade novel is PILAR RAMIREZ AND THE ESCAPE FROM ZAFA (Holt, 2022). He talks a lot about poems and other things on Twitter at @JulianThePoet.

Rasheed Copeland is a native of Washington, DC. He is the author of The Book of Silence: Manhood as a Pseudoscience (Sergeant Press, 2015) and is a multiple recipient of the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Award. He has performed and facilitated writing workshops across the country and internationally. He placed 2nd in the world at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam. His work has been featured in online publications such as Poets.org, Split This Rock, and the Crab Orchard Review.

Anthony R. Keith, Jr., PhD (Tony) is a Black, gay, spoken word artist, poet, Hip-Hop educational leader, and writer who produces academic and community-based scholarship about the politics of Black language, and the possibilities for Black intellectualism to disrupt White supremacy in American education. Or you can just call him an “Ed Emcee”, which is a language derived from his dissertation research about anti-racist educators who “master conditions” (mc) for student learning and engagement through the embodiment of Hip-Hop culture and rhythmic spoken words. Tony is a multi-year fellow and grant recipient of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities from his hometown of Washington D.C, where he lives with his husband, Harry Christian III.

About Beacon House

Beacon House is a nonprofit organization that provides afterschool education and youth development programs to children and families in Northeast Washington, DC. Its mission is to provide children in the greater Edgewood community of Washington, DC's Ward 5 with a safe, nurturing, life-expanding community in which to increase their academic achievement, discover their talents, and to grow into healthy adults who achieve their greatest potential. Beacon House's programs focus on closing the education achievement gap, and thus improving the economic trajectories of children in Ward 5 for whom generational poverty is most persistent.

https://beaconhousedc.org/

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Organizer Shout Mouse Press

Organizer of Black Boys Dreaming Book Launch

Shout Mouse Press is a nonprofit writing and publishing program dedicated to centering and amplifying the voices of marginalized youth. Through writing workshops, publication, and public speaking opportunities, SMP provides a platform for young people to tell their own stories and, as published authors, to act as leaders and agents of change. Learn more at www.shoutmousepress.org.

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