Authors to share works with children


Authors Carole and Jeff Weatherford will appear Saturday at Ebenezer Baptist Church.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An award-winning author and her poet son will be sharing their works at a special event slated for 10 a.m. Saturday at Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

Carole Boston Weatherford, a child and young adult writer whose works have appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, will be holding a reading and book signing with her son Jeffery Boston Weatherford, a spoken word poet, illustrator and musician. The two have collaborated on several works, including “You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen.” This work contains scratchboard illustrations produced by Jeffery Weatherford.

“I began by writing little verses for my own children and now 45 books or so later, life has come full circle and I am collaborating on books with my son,” Carole Weatherford said.

The event will be held at the church located at 702 West Raleigh Boulevard and is designed to encourage children and young people to explore their cultural heritage and the world around them through words and art. Refreshments will be served at the free event and a Braswell Memorial Library staff member also will be present to sign up people for library cards.

“We are hoping to encourage children to get a library card and get involved in their library’s summer reading program,” said Carole Weatherford, who teaches in the Department of English at Fayetteville State University.

Carole Weatherford said it was a library that inspired her own literary journey. As a young mother trying to earn a college degree, Carole would sometimes take her children to the library to expose them to literature. As she heard the children’s stories, she realized there was a growing need for children’s stories written from an African-American perspective. She also realized that she could help meet that need.

Jeffery Weatherford, who is now making his own name as a spoken word poet, said his love of poetry grew from his mother’s influence but became a form of self-expression in his teen years. In 2010, he began performing in Washington, D.C., at Busboys and Poets, a bookstore-cafe that provides a venue for live entertainment. He was influenced there by the “revolutionary poetry” around him, he said.

“I think a lot of teenagers write poetry because it is a kind of therapy for them,” Jeffery Weatherford said. “I started out performing hip-hop, so performing my own spoken word poetry was a natural transition. I prefer it because it is a more eloquent expression. In spoken word poetry, you don’t listen to the beat; you listen to your heartbeat.”

For information about Saturday’s event, call 366-9592.