“Our voices matter. Our stories matter. There is beauty in every experience and that that should be celebrated…” Christina S. Brown.

For years the AAMBC literary awards has celebrated African American voices and the stories they share through literature. I had the pleasure of serving on the board of the awards last year when New York Times Best-selling author, Omar Tyree was given the urban classic award for his excellence in literature.

The annual event has honored exceptional writers, bloggers, magazines, editors, publishers and the movers and shakers in the urban literary community. This year’s nominees also include the editor of Essence Magazine, Vanessa K. De Luca and blogger Christina S. Brown from “Love Brown Sugar” and many others.

Fashion and beauty blogger, Christina S. Brown said, “I think the AAMBC awards are important because they celebrate the achievement of people of color. Anything that celebrates our achievement is important especially given the fact that our accomplishments aren’t often celebrated or acknowledged. I’m very happy to be a part of the awards and I tip my hat to its creators….”

Maya Angelou famously said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

The AAMC awards celebrates the stories of marginalized writers in a way that few others have. So, its only fitting that their lifetime achievement award is named after an amazing author, poet, professor, and lover of the written word, like Maya Angelou.

The AAMBC’s 2017 Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award is made more special by the fact that the recipient of the award had a very close relationship with the esteemed writer.

Nikki Giovanni said, “I was friends with Maya Angelou. We would have lunch together when we were teaching at colleges near each other. Most people don’t know that Maya was a very good cook. We would tease each other by saying things like ‘I’ll teach you how to really make chicken’. It’s an honor to get an award named after such a good friend and a talented woman. I am very happy that the AAMBC awards has chosen {to honor} me.

Giovanni has an unprecedented 7 NAACP Image Awards, she has been nominated for a Grammy and been a finalist for the National Book Award. She has also authored 3 New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers. She has taught writing on college campuses and taught a love of reading with the beauty of her poetry. She’s a fearless activist with a talent that few can match.

Christina S. Brown said, “As a poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni was great. She helped set a path for women, bloggers and journalist like me. We all stand on her shoulders so I am excited that Nikki Giovanni is getting honored. It is very well deserved.”

This year’s AAMBC awards strives not only to acknowledge legends of the past and present but to highlight future stars as well.

CEO of Delphine publications and founder of the AAMBC literary awards, Tamika Newhouse said, “This year, the city of Atlanta has backed the AAMBC awards and made it part of the black writers weekend. We offer writers more than just the opportunity to win and be awarded and get acknowledged for their work. We have also strived to bridge the gap between African American writers and opportunity. We have added panels with filmmakers and producers that can give advice and even help some writers get picked up or discovered. There will be tons of Black excellence and Black girl magic on display at this event.”

People have called the AAMBC awards inspiring, motivating and said that it helps to highlight African American writers at their best. This year’s AAMBC literary awards will take place in Atlanta, GA on June 10th at 5:30 pm. Tickets are available at aambcawards.com

Originally published at medium.com