Kareem (K.A.) Antonio Simpson (American, b. 1978) is an author whose work challenges the notion of societal norms. His work has been published and exhibited across the USA and throughout the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.
Simpson is author of Bro’Kin RIVER (2021), an original 60-minute stage play, based on the true story of Margaret Garner, a Northern Kentucky slave who escaped from her plantation. Upon recapture, she took the life of her child instead of seeing her forced back into slavery.
Simpson's other works include Chronicles of a Boy Misunderstood (2013), an eye-opening look into the life of Black gay men. The fictional stories of each speaks freely about what it was like growing up as a Black gay man and how those experiences dictate how hard and long we love. The four stories boldly address controversial issues under specific topics including slavery, love, class, social status, racism and the LGBTQ community, spanning decades, while unraveling an untold secret.
Simpson is also the founder and chief imagination officer of SparkLight Creative Group, a small personal and professional development agency that inspires artists and creative entrepreneurs to build better businesses.
Simpson’s work has been placed in timeless collections like the Northern Kentucky Encyclopedia and been exhibited at Railvolution’s 2012 National Conference in Los Angeles and Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education 2006 Annual Conference. More recently, Simpson’s work can be found in local Greater Cincinnati online publications like SoapBox Cincinnati, NKY Thrives and the River City News.
Just recently, Simpson was announced the Kenton County Public Library's 2023 Writer-In-Residence. Simpson has also been named finalist for the 2022 NKY PRIDE Community Award and received the 2020 President’s Award, presented by the Northern Kentucky N.A.A.C.P. for, “his tireless effort to elevate the region’s Black community through personal and professional development and bringing their marginalized stories to life”. In addition, Simpson received the 2020 "Heart of the Community Award", presented by the Center for Great Neighborhoods for "giving tirelessly of his time and talents to organizations committed to bettering Covington and the lives of its people".
2023, Icon Award, LGBTQ Institute, (Atlanta, GA)
2023, Artist in Resident, Kenton County Public Library (Covington, KY)
2022, Roebling Society Inductee, The Metropolitan Club, (Covington, KY)
2022, Black & Brown Artist Award, Artswave (Cincinnati, OH)
2022, LGBTQ+ Community Activist Award Finalist, NKY Pride (Covington, KY)
2021, Heart of the Community Award, Center for Great Neighborhoods, (Covington, KY)
2021, Ember Award, Cincinnati Black Pride (Cincinnati, OH)
2021, Best Minority Issues Reporting Award Entrant, Society of Professional Journalists (Cincinnati, OH)
2020, Presidents Award, NAACP (NKY Branch)
2020, Truth & Reconciliation Award, Artswave (Cincinnati, OH)
This is Why I Vote - Cincinnati Black PRIDE, Panelist
Oct 20, 2020
Eastside Cultural Organizing w/KY RUX
October 13, 2018 - The Carnegie, 2pm
An Evening w/K.A. Simpson
April 17, 2018 - KCPL Library - Covington Branch, 7pm
Promoting Diversity in Museums
April 16, 2018 - Ohio Museum Association Annual Conference, Dayton, OH
Margaret Garner: The Mystery Behind Murder
February 11, 2018 - KCPL Library - Covington Branch, 2pm / VIDEO
February 13, 2018 - McNicholas Highschool, 11am
February 28, 2018 - Taft Museum of Art, 12 pm
Self-Publishing Seminar - Books By The Banks
October, 2017 - Moderator - (Cincinnati, OH)
GLSEN Greater Cincinnati Youth Summit
October 29, 2016 - Presenting Author (Highland Heights, KY)
Local Fiction Writers - Books By The Banks
October 15, 2016 - Moderator - (Cincinnati, OH)
Poverty and Child Health in Urban Communities
November 6, 2015 - Featured Panelist Cincinnati, OH)
October 24, 2015 - Presenter (Highland Heights, KY)
Social Media and Digital Marketing for Writers
October 12, 2013 - Featured Panelist (Cincinnati, OH)
Triple Threat: Being Young Gay and Black In America
September 21, 2013 - Presenter (Highland Heights, KY)
Infill/Refill: Capturing Opportunity While Managing Change
October 16, 2012 - Railvolution Annul Conference, Los Angeles, CA