Local authors discuss books, uplifting community

Local authors discuss books, uplifting community
November 30
08:00 2017

While shoppers across the country flocked to department stores last Friday looking to cash in on holiday sales, Black Friday took on a totally different meaning at Taste of the Triad on Old Walkertown Road as dozens of locals gathered to celebrate black businesses and the work of two local authors looking to make a difference in the community with their words. 

Although the event known as The Back Drop was advertised as a book release party for their novels “The Alarm Clock” and “Notes II Self,” the event was much more. Instead of just promoting themselves, authors Darrell Slade and Kwa’tre Hollingsworth used the event as a venue to highlight black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the area.

“This is all about planting seeds. We’re all about the community and that is what this is about,” said Slade, author of “The Alarm Clock.”

Slade, who was born and raised here in Winston-Salem, and is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, said his first novel takes you on a journey, starting from his childhood and ending with his college years where he lost his mother. He said he wants his book and the obstacles he has overcome to inspire the younger generation.

“I get personal because I feel like that’s the best way to reach people. I talk about me growing up here in Winston and my transition to college and losing my mother, which was detrimental for me,” he continued. “… Catastrophic events like that make it easy for somebody to fall into the system, and my book talks about how I turned my life around.”

When discussing his second book, “Notes II Self,” Hollingsworth said his novel takes you on a journey as well but does so by using spoken word and his own life experiences. Hollingsworth said “Notes II Self” is a continuation of his first book, “Through These Eyes ,Volume 1.”

“It takes you on a journey … it’s still a story. And it’s not just all just spoken word. It’s this piece that it explains why this is happening and it’s real life,” Hollingsworth said.

As a standout athlete at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy, Hollingsworth had the opportunity to play basketball at the collegiate level but chose to focus on his education instead. He went on to attend Howard University.

“I don’t really say much about it because it’s common knowledge for people who know me, but you do have to be special to go to the NBA, and I felt like I did have the opportunity but I chose another path and that’s the message I want to send to the next generation,” he said.

After discussing their books opening with The Chronicle, Slade and Hollingsworth had an open conversation with those in attendance on ways to uplift the African-American community.  Several people said they liked what the two young men were trying to do.

Lazro Cesar, who traveled from Washington, D.C., to attend the event, said The Back Drop was exactly what the community needs.

“This was just beautiful,” said Cesar. “We need more events like this in the African-American community that brings people together.”

Following the success of the The Back Drop, both authors said it was only the beginning. They plan to host similar events designed to uplift the African-American community and have important conversations in the near future.

“The Alarm Clock” by Darrell Slade will officially be released on Dec. 12. “Notes II Self” by Kwa’tre Hollingsworth is available now on

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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