African Voices

Our History in a Snapshot

Founded in 1992, African Voices Communications, Inc., is a non-profit organization
dedicated to fostering cultural understanding and awareness through literature and the arts. The magazine has published more than 600 new creative voices in poetry, fiction and prose.

African Voices is one of only a few institutions to successfully publish a literary magazine and provide innovative programming in arts and education. The magazine reaches 10,000 readers and it is distributed by Ingram Periodicals and Ubiquity Distributors to fine bookstores across the nation. African Voices’ subscription base includes colleges, high schools and libraries. The magazine is used in the classroom by educators who want to expose students to contemporary literature.

Get Your Read On!:

African Voices offers literacy and creative writing workshops for young people living in low-income communities. The program partners with public schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In 2008, African Voices received the distinction of being the only literary publication in the nation to receive the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant ($20K). The organization introduced more than 2,500 new readers to Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God through the establishment of 10 book clubs and 18 book discussions in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library, the Schomburg Center, Community Works and other cultural partners throughout New York City. African Voices and the Brooklyn Public Library was presented with the 2010 Zora Neale Hurston Award at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Rhymes, Rhythms & Rituals:

Poetry concert in the parks series presents local bands and poets. Founded in 1997, the summer
series has hosted concerts in community parks including Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park and Bryant Park. In 1999, African Voices’ “Rhymes” concert was held in Marcus Garvey Park to celebrate Harlem Week’s 25th Anniversary. The above photo is from a Rhymes concert
hosted in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Reel Sisters Film of the Diaspora Festival & Lecture Series:

Founded in 1997, Reel Sisters is an annual festival devoted to screening films directed, produced and written by women of color. The festival is held at the Kumble Theater for the Peforming Arts, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. For information visit:
The organizarion has a history of providing leadership within the arts community through the magazine and its public programs. Over the past 19 years the organization has presented more than 800 community programs to expand access to the arts. Our four annual public programs: Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, a festival for women filmmakers produced in collaboration with Long Island University; Rhymes, Rhythms & Rituals, an outdoor poetry concert in the park series; Cultural Circle Conference, a writer’s conference; and Get Your Read On!, a family literacy program that provides workshops for young people living in low income communities. The Ellie Charles Artists Awards is a fundraising benefit that recognizes outstanding community service.

Ellie Charles Artists Award & Scholarship:

Each year, African Voices presents the Ellie Charles Artists Awards to honor artists, community
activists and other leaders for their contributions to society. The award is named in honor of our first chairperson Eleanor “Ellie” Charles who dedicated her life to supporting
the arts, education and young people. In 1998, legendary photographer Gordon Parks became the first artist to receive African Voices’ prestigious artist award. Past honorees include: actress Ruby Dee and award-winning authors Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Jessica Care Moore and Wole Soyinka, Imhotep Gary Byrd, actress
Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and theater pioneer/producer Woodie King, Jr. The first Ellie Charles Scholarship was presented to aspiring poet/actress Stefanie Angelique Reid.

Please support African Voices by making a tax deductible gift to: African Voices270 W. 96th Street New York, NY 10025 To volunteer call: 212.865.2982