by Guest Writer Georgia McDade
The African-American Writers’ Alliance (AAWA) is a unique group of writers who for myriad reasons had not had our stories told nor always had the opportunity to tell our stories. Californian Randee Eddins remedied this situation for writers in the Seattle area when she founded AAWA. A short article in The Seattle Times invited writers of African descent to come to Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Institute. Randee had many ideas: we would meet monthly; we would choose our subjects; we would write without censure. That was in February of 1991.
Because AAWA reads as a group each second Thursday of the month..., the community can see and hear writers of all levels displaying their craft regularly. Others who have never written are often moved to write and then share what they wrote.
The small group decided that AAWA aims to remedy this situation as soon and as much as possible. Name the genre; someone in the group practices it. We have poets, storytellers, essayists, journalists, playwrights, and novelists. Because AAWA reads as a group each second Thursday of the month at Third Place Books on Seward Park Avenue, each third Wednesday at South East Senior Center, and via Zoom each second Sunday of the month, the community can see and hear writers of all levels displaying their craft regularly. More importantly, audience members get to comment on the readings and question the writers. Persons who have never read in public get the opportunity to do so. Others who have never written are often moved to write and then share what they wrote. As a member of the Western Washington Poets Network, AAWA gladly provides information about journals, presses, conferences, retreats, and other relevant resources in our region.
In the greatest sense of the word, ARTE NOIR sells art. Similarly, AAWA sells writing. AAWA works hard to sell writing to the community by presenting readings and workshops, often free. As more bestselling African-American writers appear on the national scene, more local African-American writers appear in the neighborhood—libraries, churches, bookstores, galleries, halls, schools on every level, etc. We like improving our communities and hope those we help will help others.
Georgia McDade is an original member of the African American Writers Alliance and has been an eyewitness to the growth of numerous writers who have been involved in the organization over the past three decades. McDade also played a major role in the publication of the six AAWA anthologies and she is currently working on the compilation of a 7th anthology to debut during the organization's first conference this summer, June 7 & 8, 2024
Visit the African American Writers Alliance website to learn more.