Welcome to Phenomenal Book Club

Inaugural Author Conversation

11.20.21 2pm PT / 5pm ET

Phenomenal Book Club is proud to be the exclusive book club partner of The 1619 Project

Phenomenal Book Club
Inaugural Author Conversation

Phenomenal Founder, CEO, and author Meena Harris in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Nikole Hannah-Jones and illustrator Nikkolas Smith

About Our Speakers

  • Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Nikole Hannah-Jones


    The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story

    and Born on the Water

    Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine, and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. In 2017, she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant, for her work on educational inequality. She has also won a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards, three National Magazine Awards, and the 2018 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism from Columbia University. In 2016, Hannah-Jones co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a training and mentorship organization geared toward increasing the number of investigative reporters of color. Hannah-Jones is the Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University, where she has founded the Center for Journalism and Democracy. In 2021, she was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.

  • Nikkolas Smith

    Nikkolas Smith


    Born on the Water

    Nikkolas Smith is a Houston, Texas–born Artivist, picture book author, and Hollywood film illustrator. He is the author-illustrator of The Golden Girls of Rio, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, My Hair Is Poofy & That’s Okay, and World Cup Women. As a Black illustrator, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations around social justice in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral, globally shared and published sketches are included in his book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas. Nikkolas also speaks on his Artivism at conferences, workplaces, and schools around the world, and leads workshops in digital painting, character, and movie poster design. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

    Learn more here: www.NIKKOLAS.art

About Phenomenal Book Club

Our mission is to celebrate underrepresented authors, particularly women of color, and to build community around literary works we love.

Every quarter, we’ll announce our official Phenomenal Book Club Pick— a new release or debut work that we’re excited about, in fiction or nonfiction.

In between our quarterly picks, we’ll share Phenomenal Book Club Highlights — previously released titles that we believe have contemporary relevance.

The stories we select will:

  • challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about historically excluded communities;
  • shift the conversation from assumptions to informed dialogue on the most critical social, cultural, and political issues we face today;
  • and help the publishing industry to uphold its 2020 commitments to anti-racism and equity.
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