We are all about engaging black teens in poetry, prose, and literature in a culturally relevant dialogue.

We, The Hurston & Hughes Literary Circle®, love words on paper, etched in parchment for, by, and/or about the people of the African Diaspora.

We specifically work with middle and high school students. The literary circle welcomes public, private, boarding and homeschool participants to join us for a ten-week opportunity to engage with like-minded teens. This summer enrichment experience is most appealing to students who are often racial/ethnic minorities in their school setting without opportunities to critically engage culturally relevant poetry, prose, and literary works in an affirming setting.

Pre-Covid , the young people meet in area coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, museums, parks, or even poolside to chat over the material they read, enjoy a laugh or two, and have a snack. As a result of Covid19, in Summer 2020, the decision was made to spend the next two summers virtually through Zoom, Facebook Live, Meet, or InstagramLive. Taking lemons to make lemonade, we have expanded from Missouri roots to have circlers represented in several states joining together to celebrate Black lit.

We read real books, write with real paper and pencil, and for a couple hours on a Tuesday afternoon in the summer, we unplug (except for Zoomland!), sip our favorite summer beverage (for me, it is lavender lemonade or a creamy latte) and slow down to engage, critically and contemplatively with wonderful stories with Black writers or Black protagonists. We advocate for Black and independent bookstores that celebrate the beauty of racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse authors. The circlers are encouraged to build their own library. Bookshop.org has all our bookstores and provides and opportunity for these shops to thrive. Mahogany Books, Semicolon Bookstore, Harrietts Bookstore, The Key Bookstore, Semicolon, and Uncle Bobbies are just a few. At The Hurston and Hughes Literary Circle®, we impact lives through the power of story.

To become a part of our circle, email our director at antona@hurstonandhughesliterarycircle to stay up-to-date on registration, program fees, and book selections for the summer.

This is a summer educational enrichment organization founded and directed by Antona Brent Smith, M.Div., M.B.A., B.S., Founder, Chief Creative Officer and CEO of Tayé Foster Bradshaw Group LLC, a Connecticut corporation. With over thirty years of experience in marketing strategy, branding, creative communication, writing, program management, and non-profit educational endeavors she brings her passion for writing, reading, and teaching together in a space celebrating the liberative power of relevant story. She is a poet, essayist, and literary critic writing as Tayé Foster Bradshaw, honoring her generations who guide her to muse.

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  1. Hi Antona, hope you are well. I’m Pam McLoughlin from the New Haven Register and I cover Woodbridge. Read about your summer reading series on website and thought it could be an interesting story. If interested, please let me know number so we can set up a time to talk, get a photo. Thanks,Pam


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