Hotter Than July Book Festival: Remembering Essex Hemphill

In partnership with Pen America Detroit, Hotter Than July Book Festival is a captivating celebration of literature that goes beyond storytelling by delving into important societal issues. One of the thought-provoking panel discussions held during the festival revolves around banned books and pays tribute to the remarkable writer Essex Hemphill.

This discussion shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by authors whose works have been censored or banned due to their provocative content or controversial themes. It served as a platform to explore the impact of censorship on free expression and the importance of preserving intellectual freedom.

Honoring the legacy of Essex Hemphill, a trailblazing poet, and LGBT+ activist, this panel highlighted the enduring power of his work and the indelible mark he left on the media landscape. Through engaging dialogue and critical analysis, this panel at the Hotter Than July Book Festival encouraged attendees to reflect on the significance of unrestricted access to diverse voices and the imperative role of literature in challenging societal norms and media representation.

In support of the works of such authors, journalists, and activists, we invited attendees to bring Black and Brown-centered LGBT+ written works to start building the first-ever LGBT Detroit Library.