Founded in 2018, INKPEN is a collaboration between readers and writers to put books in the hands of teens in under-resourced school libraries and to ensure that readers of color have access to stories by writers of color. We do this because we believe books inspire.
For many of us, reading has been a life-long love. We sought books of every genre for the worlds they brought to us. We sought books that shared the journeys of people who looked like us. We reflected on the joys of being seen and heard when we read authors such as Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes. Through INKPEN programming and partnerships, we aim to bring books to today's youth to help them through their questioning of the world.
INKPEN FOUNDERS & THE BOOKS THAT INSPIRE US
Inspiration: A Raisin in the Sun
Inspiration: A Gathering of Old Men
Ernest J. Gaines
Inspiration: The Color Purple
"My love of books and reading started young because it enabled me to leave the isolated west Texas environment of my childhood. I could do more, be more."
- Jaqee Cooke
Inspiration: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/
When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Inspiration: Autobiography of
"I've loved to read and hear stories for as long as I can remember, to learn about different experiences and places. I became obsessed with books by and about Black people, the experience was more meaningful. Every reader wants to experience the unfamiliar by a book. We also want enough of the familiar to connect and learn more about ourselves."
- Malaika Adero
Inspiration: Ain't I A Woman
Inspiration: The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques
Inspiration: Ego-Tripping and Other Poems for Young People
"Reading creates opportunities for black women and girls to expand their worlds - fostering the embrace and internalization of old and new forms of self-affirmation and intellectual growth."
- Sabiyha Prince
The Price of the Ticket
"Our humanity is enhanced and our eyes are pried open as we explore the many worlds reading invites us to enter. Critical thinking and the ability to absorb a range of information are honed through reading and the journey it takes us on is one that lasts a lifetime."
- Sabihya Prince
BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK DRIVE: BOOKS TO STUDENTS
"INKPEN increases access to books that highlight Black stories and the literary contributions of Black authors to society, in addition to offering opportunity for all of us to engage with the authors themselves."
- Sabrina Curtis