Author, poet Sonny Bates to sign his new novel at Black Cultural Center

April 21, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's Black Cultural Center will host a book signing and reception on April 30 for author Sonny Bates, whose novel "The Creole Affair," has just been published.

The event, free and open to the public, will be from 4-6 p.m. at the BCC, 1100 Third St., West Lafayette.

The novel tells the story behind the most successful slave revolt in U.S. history, depicting the events aboard the slave ship Brig Creole, which was en route from Hampton Roads, Va., to New Orleans. Madison Washington, an ex-slave, is discovered on the ship. He fights off the quartermaster and incites 19 slaves to join him in taking over the ship on Nov. 7, 1841. Two days later the ship drops anchor in Nassau, Bahamas. The United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over Britain's refusal to return all of the blacks to the U.S. slavery system.

The book will be available for purchase, at a reduced price of $9.99, at the event.

Bates, who was born in Cincinnati and raised in Indianapolis, began writing poetry in a creative writing class at Shortridge High School. He has been poet-in-residence at many universities. He has served as an Indiana Arts Commission Grants panelist and a member of the Indiana Humanities Council Word Struck Steering Committee.

The author of "Sometimes Laughter Cries," a collection of poetry, Bates also has written four stage plays: "Unintentional Love," "Daughters of Samburu," "Congo Square," and "The Girl in the Poem."

For more information, visit

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Source: Jamillah R. Gabriel, BCC Librarian, 765-494-3093,

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