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2024 Kaleidoscope Awards for Literary Excellence
April 18, 2024 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta

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Kaleidoscope Awards for Literary Excellence

April 18, 2024

A gala honoring Black writers and others writing about the Black experience. Donations go to The C.T. Vivian Foundation.

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Throughout their lifetime, C.T. and Octavia Vivian collected more than 6,000 books on African American literature, history, poetry, and similar works. To honor their legacy and advance the vision, The C.T. Vivian Foundation Inc. is hosting a fundraising dinner at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on April 18th, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia. This benefit will honor best-selling authors who have made exceptional contributions to the African American experience.



Valerie Boyd (December 11, 1963 – February 12, 2022) was an American writer and academic. She was best known for her 2003 biography of Zora Neale Hurston entitled Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. It was the first biography of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston in 25 years. The Washington Post declared Wrapped in Rainbows “the definitive Hurston biography for many years to come,” and Boyd received the Georgia Author of the Year Award in nonfiction, as well as an American Library Association Notable Book citation for the book. The Georgia Center for the Book named the biography one of the “25 Books That All Georgians Should Read”, and the Southern Book Critics Circle honored it with the 2003 Southern Book Award for best nonfiction of the year. Boyd traveled the United States giving speeches and lectures on the life and legacy of Zora Neale Hurston as a part of the Big Read, a program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts designed to re-establish reading for pleasure as a popular American pastime.  She was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2021. Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, was published posthumously in 2022.

Valerie Boyd was an associate professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where she taught narrative nonfiction writing, as well as arts and literary journalism. A native Atlantan, Boyd began her career at the Atlanta Journal Constitution where she later became a reporter, book critic, and line editor for the paper. Boyd founded EightRock, a cutting-edge journal of Black arts and culture, in 1990. Two years later, she co-founded HealthQuest, the first nationally distributed magazine focusing on African American health, and served as its editor in chief.  Boyd eventually became Arts Editor of the Journal-Constitution, a position she held until leaving the newspaper in 2004.  Boyd was named editor-at-large for the University of Georgia Press in 2021.


Charles M. Blow, an American author and journalist, is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times and political analyst on MSNBC.   As a journalist, Mr. Blow is passionate about precedents and historical corollaries, and he uses history to contextualize America’s present-day politics.  Charles is the author of New York Times bestselling books Fire Shut Up in My Bones and The Devil You Know. Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which was adapted into an opera and premiered at the Metropolitan Opera, is a poetic memoir that explores the psychosexual and emotional roller-coaster ride of his upbringing, while masterfully evoking the sights, sounds and smells of rough-and-tumble, backwater LouisianaThe Devil You Know, which inspired the HBO documentary South to Black Power, connects the dots between moments of social advancement for Black Americans through the accompanying white backlash.   

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director. Mr. Blow went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic.  In 2008, Charles returned to the New York Times as an Opinion columnist.  Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.  In 2016, Mr. Blow was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale where he taught a seminar on media and politics, tracking the presidential race in real time.


Jacqueline Woodson, an American writer of books for children and adolescents, grew up with a love of reading and in the fifth grade realized that she wanted to be a writer. Woodson, who has written over 40 books, is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, an E. B. White Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, to name a few.  She is the 2022 Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence and was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and in 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Jacqueline’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming received the National Book Award and also received the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, and the NAACP Image Award. Jacqueline also wrote the adult books Red at the Bone, a New York Times bestseller, and Another Brooklyn. She is the author of dozens of award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children.  Among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Some of Woodson’s books include Before the Ever After, The Year We Learned to Fly, The Day You Begin, and Harbor Me; Caldecott Honor book Coming On Home Soon; Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; and Miracle’s Boys. Jacqueline is also a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature and a two-time winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Her most recent novel, Remember Us, is set in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.  Woodson resides in Columbus, Ohio.

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