THE 9th HARLEM BOOK FAIR IS THE LARGEST IN NYC HISTORY: THE LITERARY STARS RISE & BOOK LOVERS COME OUT IN RECORD NUMBER!
by Heather Covington
See photos by Heather Covington on www.Disilgold.com and additional photos by Seitu Oronde on Event Link!
Commendations: For HBF’s beautiful 2007 Program Guide & Autograph Book (July 20-22)
The 9th Annual Harlem Book Fair brought out the largest amount of attendees in the event’s history according to Channel 7 ABC news on Saturday, July 21st. Hosted by founder and publisher of QBR: The Black Book Review, Mr. Max Rodriguez (www. QBR. com), the three day event featured QBR’s “The Wheatley Book Awards” on July 20th at the Schom-burg Center for Research in Black Culture directed by community leader Howard Dodson.
This year’s Wheatley Book Award” recipients were Eloise Greenfield, Walter Mosley and Amiri Baraka. A tribute was honored to the late sci-fi author Octavia Butler and actor Ossie Davis, husband of actress Ruby Dee. Other notable recipients were Mr. Tony Rose,CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc. (www.Amberbooks.com)for his work with the African American Pavilion at Book Expo.
An HBF BBQ Jazz Author Brunch was held on Sunday, July 22 featuring the fine music of the Tyrone Birkett Group with Paula Ralph-Birkett, New York Times Bestselling author, Omar Tyree (The Last Street Novel) and Zane , slated to have her best selling book, “Addicted” adapted to a movie with producer Sylvia Rhone. She is also publishing over 50 authors this year to give rise to new African-American voices in literature.
Omar Tyree also, held his debut signing for his new book, The Last Street Novel at Hueman Bookstore, owned by Marva Allen and Rita Ewing which brought out many post Harlem Book Fair attendees who got to hear one of their favorite authors on the main author stage among literary bestselling peers like Relentless Aaron (Extra-Marital Affairs) just signed to G-Unit Books, Pat G’orge Walker (Sister Betty is Calling You), Kenya Perry(Game: Get It, Georgia Woodbine (How to Make Big Bucks Without Selling Your Soul),Andrew Morrison, Host of Money Making Modays Radio Show on 98.7 Kiss Fm, Elon Bomani (Dynamic Diva Dollars: For Women Who Aren’t Afraid to Become Millionaires and Wealth Chants), and Renee McCrae, host of Fade to Black Show on QPTV and BCAT.
The stage was opened with community leaders Howard Dodson, Chief, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President; State Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith Wright; Neal Clark, Chair, Community Board 10. These leaders set the tone for an amazing event that was a SUCCESS!
If you watched the crowd very carefully, you may have witnessed many best selling authors casually interacting and walking among the crowd on a say of unseasonably cool weather like Ghetto Hickson, Kashamba Williams, Darshell DuBose Smith, Cheryl Hudson,Wade Hudson, Kashan , Sha, Dashawn , Marc Lacy, Relentless Aaron , Pat G’orge Walker, Yvonne Bynoe , Thulani -Joseph Peniel, Eric S. Gray, K’wan, Mark Anthony, Rique Johnson, Anna J., Renee Flagler, Nakea Murray, Chi Chi, Shannon Holmes , Miasha, Assaunta Collins, Ojeda Nin , Milton McGriff, LaJill Hunt, Roy Glenn, Latrese N. Carter, Dr. Ron Daniels, Daryl Harris, Barry Borne, Jeannine Batiste, RJ Williams, Dwayne S. Joseph, Dwayne Murray,Sr., and Thomas Long.
The Children’s Book Stage brought out entire families and children for panel discussions featuring Traci Lester, Director, Read & Learn, Dr. Loretta Long (Courtney’s Birthday Party); Roscoe Orman (Sesame Street Dad); Sonia Hayes (The ATL Girlz); Dr. Sabrina Martin, Chief of Pediatrics, North General Hospital; Alex Simmons (Buffalo Bill Wanted!); Tia Williams (It Chicks),Patrick Oliver, Founder, Say It Loud! Readers and Writers Series Sheron “Umi” Smith, Andrew Sekou Jackson, Executive Director, Langston Hughes Library and Cultural Centers; David Miller, CEO, Urban Leadership Institute; Professor Griff (Public Enemy) and Cheryl Willis Hudson , the Editorial Director of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent publishing company that focuses on Black interest books for children and young adults. Ms. Hudson has authored many books for young children including Hands Can, Good Morning, Baby, Glo Goes Shopping, Many Colors of Mother Goose and Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (co-authored with Bernette Ford).
One of the top attractions of the Harlem Book Fair are the indoor panels hosted by QBR.com in the Schom-burg Center for Research in Black Culture and aired live to millions on C-SPAN BookTV, to literary lovers of African-American literature to those who couldn’t make it from around the world. The live taping always repeats its programing in the evenings on the same day of the Harlem Book Fair, and re-airs again during the week online at www.Booktv.org .This year, the Harlem Book Fair panels featured an opening address on The State of African American Literacy by Former Congressman J. C., Watts, A Conversation with Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, A History of America) and Walter Mosley, (Workin’ on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History), a panel on “Memoir and Remembrances: Making Way Out of No Way” featuring Carla Ranger(Director for Educational Partnerships, Dallas County Community College District, Dominic Carter (No Momma’s Boy), Charles B. Rangel (And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress), Avie Faison (Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler), Yvonne Thornton (The Ditch-digger’s Daughter), June Cross (The Secret Daughter, and a panel on ‘‘Post-Black Thinking’’: Where Black Becomes Irrelevant” featuring Moderator: Dr. Anthony Samad (50 Years After Brown: The State of Black Equality In America),Panelists: Dr. W.D. Wright (Crisis of the Black Intellectual); Gloria J. Browne-Marshall (Race, Law and America Society); Paul Robeson, Jr. (A Black Way of Seeing); Dr. Carol D. Lee (Culture, Literacy and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind).The Harlem Book Fair’s QBR saved the best panel discussion for last entitled: From Black Power to Hip Hop: The Evolution of Grassroots Political Thought, featuring Moderator: Tony Rose (Publisher, Amber Communications) Panelists: Herb Boyd (Race and Resistance: African Americans in the Twenty-First Century, Vol. 1), Peniel Joseph (Waiting ‘‘Til the Midnight Hour), Yvonne Bynoe (Stand and Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip Hop Culture), Thulani Davis (My Confederate Kinfolk: A Twenty-First Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots.
I closed out the C-SPAN BookTV aired tapings with a message to millions to teach youth about their mentors, a solution for addressing the state of literacy in America and also thanked my very own publisher, Mr. Tony Rose for taking a chance to publish a book called Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature to carry on the legacy and history of literary figures who have paved the way.
Literary enthusiasts will agree that the black community should continue to support black literature, publications and attend more events like the Harlem Book Fair that celebrate “our literature, our voices and our words,” the unified theme and continuous message of an event that has made HISTORY and is quite remarkable! Visit www.booktv.org to watch panels.
For more information about the Annual Harlem Book Fair, visit www.QBR.com.