• Multicultural Financial Advisor Forum

Annual Morgan Stanley Literary Brunch Brings Diverse Voices to Harlem

Authors Erica Dunbar Armstrong, Pat Cleveland, and Tiffany Dufu read excerpts from their work at the Cecil in Harlem.

On a snowy day in the heart of Harlem, New York, Morgan Stanley brought together a unique group of authors together to celebrate diverse voices and enjoy great food. The Morgan Stanley Literary Brunch, hosted at The Cecil and co-sponsored by 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster dedicated to bringing good books to hungry readers, is now in its 7th year in Martha's Vineyard, and third in Harlem.

This year’s event included readings from authors Erica Dunbar Armstrong, Pat Cleveland, and Tiffany Dufu. Guests were also treated to a surprise reading from Morgan Stanley’s own Sandra Richards, who read from her recently published children’s book, Rice and Rocks.

Writer and activist Tiffany Dufu kicked of the event by reading the opening passage from her newly published book, Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less. The book focuses on Ms. Dufu’s experiences with being a new mom and learning to get more out of life by doing less.

Pat Cleveland, one of the first African American “supermodels,” read from her recently published Memoir titled, Walking with the Muses: A Memoir. Ms. Cleveland shared a striking passage from the book, which reflected on her early life on the road as an African American model traveling through the Deep South during the turbulent 1960’s.

Erica Dunbar Armstrong read from her recently published historical account of one of George Washington’s slaves, Ona Judge, titled Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. Ms. Dunbar, a professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware, spent years studying the life Ona Judge for the book, which detailed her relatively unknown journey from living in the President’s House in Philadelphia to life as a fugitive in Vermont. 

The video above features commentary from the authors themselves, as well as comments from a number of community leaders in Harlem discussing the importance that literature plays in preserving culture.