Charleston Literary Festival Announces Partnership with The Guardian and the International African American Museum to Explore the Enduring Legacy of Transatlantic Slavery

(EZ Newswire)

CHARLESTON, SC -- Charleston Literary Festival announces an international partnership with renowned global news organization, The Guardian, to produce two sessions that will take place at the newly opened International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 12th—the tenth and final day of the 2023 Festival.

The first session, slated for 2 p.m. in the African Ancestors Memorial Garden outdoor exhibition space at IAAM, will feature former Guardian journalist Gary Younge, currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, in conversation with journalist Kerri Forrest, now Senior Program Director For Equity Centered Leadership and Philanthropy for MDC, a legacy nonprofit committed to equitable systems of change in the South, about his latest book "Dispatches from the Diaspora". Reflecting on three decades of his career as a journalist, the book “is a powerful collection of his writings on race, racism, and Black life and death” (The Guardian). It covers some of the most defining moments in recent history, including Nelson Mandela's election campaign in South Africa, Obama’s victory, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We are excited to partner with Charleston Literary Festival and The Guardian to create space for ambitious reading lists and conversations. Media is storytelling, and we live in an era grappling with the truly challenging stories of slavery and reconciliation. We hope the museum’s mission to champion the authentic, empathetic telling of untold stories of African American history will be a powerful spark to personal and community reflections on this year’s festival themes,” said Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, President and CEO of IAAM.

The second session at 4 p.m. will feature a panel of journalists involved in The Guardian’s major journalism series, "Cotton Capital", which explores the links that the newspaper’s founding editor and financial backers had with the transatlantic slave trade. Chaired by Dr. Bernard Powers, IAAM Board Member and Director of the College of Charleston's Center for the Study of Slavery (CSSC), this panel will explore the findings from an independent academic report commissioned by The Guardian, that found that the newspaper’s founder John Edward Taylor had links to transatlantic slavery through partnerships in Manchester’s cotton manufacturing and merchant firms that imported raw cotton produced by enslaved people in the Americas. Alongside Gary Younge, the panel will include Maya Wolfe-Robinson, editor of "Cotton Capital", and Lauren N. Williams, Deputy Editor for Race and Equity at Guardian US. The conversation will cover the legacy and continued impact of transatlantic slavery and ways to make reparations.

“One of the proposals laid out in the long-term programme of restorative justice is to help improve public understanding of transatlantic slavery’s ongoing impact, and debates around reparations and restorative justice through partnerships and programmes. As editor of The Guardian’s 'Cotton Capital' journalism series, we are committed to exploring how the connections between transatlantic slavery and The Guardian’s founders shaped Manchester, Britain, and the world, so we are proud to be partnering with Charleston Literary Festival to share some of these important, global conversations with communities in South Carolina,” said Maya Wolfe-Robinson, Guardian journalist and editor of "Cotton Capital".

The International African American Museum is located on the historically sacred grounds of Gadsen’s Wharf—one of North America’s most significant entry points in the transatlantic slave trade, serving as the arrival point for an estimated 40% of the enslaved Africans brought to the United States. Newly opened in Charleston on June 27, 2023, IAAM tells the untold stories of how Africans and African Americans—through their labor, resistance, and ingenuity—have shaped every aspect of our world.

"We are extremely proud of this partnership with The Guardian and IAAM, as it roots the global in the local. These sessions vividly spotlight the far-reaching effects and legacy of transatlantic slavery and provide an opportunity to highlight opportunities for us to move forward collectively,” added Sarah Moriarty, Executive Director, Charleston Literary Festival. 

Tickets for these two sessions and other featured sessions at Charleston Literary Festival, running from November 3rd to 12th, can be purchased now through the Charleston Literary Festival's website,


About Guardian Media Group

Guardian Media Group (GMG) is the publisher of, one of the largest English-speaking news websites in the world. Since launching its U.S. and Australian digital editions in 2011 and 2013, respectively, traffic from outside the UK now represents around two-thirds of the Guardian’s total digital audience.

Guardian US is renowned for its Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency and for other award-winning work, including The Paradise Papers. Guardian US has bureaus in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, covering the climate crisis, politics, race and immigration, gender, and more.

About the International African American Museum

The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, on the nation, and on the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origins, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Across 11 galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit or call (843) 872-5352.

About Charleston Literary Festival

Charleston Literary Festival is a boutique literary festival that runs every November for ten days in Charleston, South Carolina. With roots in the Charleston House in the UK—home of the radical writers, artists, and thinkers of the Bloomsbury Group—Charleston Literary Festival is committed to maintaining an international perspective while championing literary excellence, building community, and fostering the next generation of writers and thinkers in South Carolina. An independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, previous attendees of the Festival include Brit Bennett, Geraldine Brooks, Tina Brown, Hernan Diaz, Eddie Glaude, Yaa Gyasi, Patrick Radden Keefe, Ian McEwan, Joyce Carol Oates, Imani Perry, George Saunders, Colm Tóibín, and Jeannette Winterson. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Sterling Eason, Eason Creative Studio
Phone: 843-300-8879


SOURCE: Charleston Literary Festival

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