A collaborative opportunity for Black Canadian authors and creators

Pearl Catherine Tita

Pearl-Catherine Tita is the founder of the BLK Book Fair, a congregation of remarkable Black Canadian authors and creators based in Canada. An author herself, she is born in Canada to Cameroonian and Guyanese parents. Her debut poetry book, “Beneath The Shade: The Poetic Self-Discoveries and Realizations of a Fellow Human,” was published last year. It is a collection of thought-provoking poems that entices readers to confront their internal truths. BLK Book Fair currently comprises forty-two authors and creators who are fervent about amplifying Black voices, representing the African and Caribbean diasporas and producing authentic literature. I am an honoured member of this group, and I am thrilled to share my interview with Pearl.

What inspired you to create the BLK Book Fair?

As I was in the midst of self-publishing my debut poetry book, I was extremely anxious, confused and stressed! I felt like I needed to be around like-minded people to ask questions pertaining to their literary journeys. I then thought that maybe other people felt the way I was feeling. So, slowly and timidly (believe it or not, I am an introvert), I began to reach out to other authors in hopes to build a community that we could all benefit from. I hoped that in our union, we would facilitate one another in disseminating our products (simply through re-posting on social media). We would share resources, collaborate, and bounce ideas off of each other; essentially, I hoped that we would grow together as a literary community. I also realized that literature can incorporate other materials such as workbooks, journals and stickers. I then started reaching out to creators of literature-based materials. I wanted BLK Book Fair to be a community of anything about books! This month, BLK Book Fair celebrated its first anniversary, and I have to say, it is growing to be everything I hoped it would be. I have specified BLK Book Fair to Black Canadians because we often go unnoticed. We often see works from our fellow Americans highlighted in our country, but our work often doesn’t hold the same weight domestically or transnationally. I want Black Canadian authors and creators of literature-based materials to be recognized and appreciated for our creativity and intellect.

BLK Book Fair

How many authors/creators are you currently collaborating with?

Currently, BLK Book Fair has 42 members. We are composed of child authors, award winners, motivational speakers, new and seasoned authors, creators of colouring books and stickers, and so much more! With BLK Book Fair, I want to demonstrate the variation in literature and literature-based materials produced by Black Canadians.

What BLK Book Fair events should we look forward to this year?

Unfortunately, the fluctuation in Covid restrictions makes it difficult to plan ahead. However, we hope to host our 2nd BLK Book Fair event in the late Spring or early summer. Follow our Instagram page @blkbookfair or check out our website at www.blkbookfair.com for updates on upcoming events!

Here are the faces of the BLK Book Fair.