Tony Rose and Lynette McMillon present The 2008 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America “Reginald F. Lewis Vanguard Business leader” Award to Magic Johnson







June, 2008  (National)  The Fifth Annual African American Pavilion at Book Expo America 2008 was recently held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California (May 30 – June 1)


The highlight of the weekend’s events was a special presentation Saturday morning by world-renowned NBA champion and Chairman/CEO, of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Earvin “Magic” Johnson.  Mr. Johnson spoke about his new book “Urban Magic: 32 Ways to Succeed in Business” that will be published by Crown in January, 2009 and developing strategic programs and supporting services that address the educational, health, social, and spiritual needs of our ethnically diverse, urban communities.  Magic Johnson Enterprises is comprised of a portfolio of companies that include: Starbucks, Best Buy, Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, Burger King, 24-Hour Fitness, SodexoMagic, T.G.I Fridays and the AMC Magic Johnson Theaters.  Magic Johnson was presented with The 2008 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America “Reginald F. Lewis Vanguard Business Leader” Award. 


BookExpo America, one of the largest book trade exhibits in the world provides independent African American book publishers, self-publishers, authors, black interest imprints at major publishing houses, distributors, literary agents, publicists, librarians, and bookstore owners with exposure to more than 50,000 book buyers and book sellers from across the globe.


The African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, co-founded in 2004 by Executive Director Tony Rose  (Publisher/CEO, Amber Communications Group, Inc.), Adrienne Ingrum, Adrienne Ingrum, LLC. (former Associate Publisher, Black Issues Book Review) and Niani Colon (former Associate Publisher, Genesis Press), showcased more than 300 African American exhibitors, authors, self-publishers and publishing houses and a pavilion attendance of over 6,000 book industry professionals, in the 5,000 square feet of joint exhibit space and 1,000 square feet of pavilion main staging area.


This year’s theme was “Celebrate with the Stars” as a high-powered entourage of celebrity speakers lit up the stage and shared positive messages to the standing-room only audience of book publishing professionals. 


Heather Covington, CEO,, National Best-Selling Author, Literary Divas: The Top 100+ African American Women In Literature, NAACP Image Awards Nominee for Outstanding Literature (Biographies) and her new title Tekila Nika: The Forbidden Bronx Video Diary Tales was the witty and charming host for programs at The African American Pavilion at Book Expo America.  Miss Covington was named the 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA “Self-Publisher of the Year.


The pavilion events began Friday May 30th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Omar Tyree, NAACP Image Award Winner and New York Times National Bestselling Author of Flyy Girl and A Do Right Man.  The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Gordon Parks “Renaissance Artist” Award was presented to Mr. Tyree.


Internationally renowned artist and writer Synthia SAINT JAMES unveiled her new art, which featured “Precious” a Collaborative Mixed Media Painting by Synthia SAINT JAMES and  Charles BIBBS.  The 2008 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America, Romare Bearden “Vibrant Artistry” Award was presented to Synthia SAINT JAMES.


Pras Michel, founding member of the Fugees showed his award-winning film documentary “SKID ROW”, after which he spoke about the perils of homelessness, and the spiritual and economic means that we need to battle this dilemma.  Pras Michel was presented with The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Octavia Butler “Humanitarian” Award.  Pras was accompanied by his manager Maxwell Billieon of The Billieon Group.


Keynote Speaker, Max Rodriguez, Founder, The Harlem Book Fair hosted a Special Preview presentation of The Harlem Book Fair (HBF), embarking on its Tenth Year Anniversary, July 19th.  Max Rodriguez was presented with The African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Sonia Sanchez “Legends” Award.   Other speakers for the HBF program included:  Mary Monroe, Essence and New York Times National Best-Selling author;  Gwynne Forster – An award winning author of over 30 novels;  Michelle Gipson – Publisher/Founder, Written Magazine;  Troy Johnson – Founder,;  Omar Bradley – Former Mayor of Compton and author, The King of Compton.


The Welcoming Reception, which took place Friday afternoon was exciting and enlightening with a myriad of guest stars and awardees.  Kevin Wayne Johnson, Founder/Publisher, Author, Writing For the Lord Ministries began the program with an invocation.


The featured guest speaker Denise Nicholas, NAACP and Emmy Award Winning Actress, National Best-Selling Author of Freshwater Road  was presented The African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Maya Angelou “Legends” Award.


Keynote Speaker, Terrie Williams, National Best-Selling Author, Founder and Youth Advocate, The Stay Strong Foundation;  President, The Terrie Williams Agency and author of BLACK PAIN: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting received the 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Toni Trent Parker “Author of the Year” Award. 


Other speakers at the AAP at BEA Welcoming reception included:  BEA Remarks:  Steve Rosato, Director of Industry Development, BookExpo America;  Melody Guy, Senior Editor, Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group;  Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes, Founding Artistic Director, The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative, Writing at Arizona State University (ASU), and National Best-Selling Author, Douglass’ Woman;  Donna Hill, National Best-Selling Author, Wicked Ways, Rhythms, An Ordinary Woman, and On the Line;  Curt Matthews, Founder/CEO of Chicago Review Press and CEO, Independent Publishers Group;  Cevin Bryerman, Associate Publisher, Publishers Weekly;  Pam Perry, Chief Visionary, Ministry Marketing Solutions Inc., the nation’s foremost experts in the African American Christian Public Relations market and President of Chocolate Pages;  Dr. Philip S. Hart, National Best-Selling Author of African Americans and The Future of New Orleans: Rebirth, Renewal & Rebuilding an American Dilemma;  Dante Lee, President/CEO, Diversity City Media/, Best-Selling Author of, 2007-2009 African American Scholarship Guide For Students and Parents  and Ken Hudson, author of A Tree Stump In the Valley of Redwoods: Achieving Success In Sports & in Life.


Saturday afternoon began with a salute to exhibitors as seventeen self-published authors took center stage and gave a synopsis of their new titles, including:  Naija, author of Spanish Fly;  Mark Lacy, poet and author of Rock & Fire;  Abiola Abrams, author of Dare;  Na’kisha Crawford, Publisher/author of So Good It Hurts – The Pain, The Fight, The Love;  Sherri Glover, author of Expressions of My Own Heart;  Robin Ayele, author of Broken;  Joy Marie, author of The Straight Up Truth About The Downlow;  Dr. Rhonda Byrd, editor of Invitation To Love: Celebrating The Love Poems Of Paul Laurence Dunbar;  Elaine McChard, author of Playin’ In Someone Else’s Yard;  Denita Hedgeman, author of The Guidelines To Starting and Maintaining A Church Dance Ministry;  Didi Tillson, author of A Need For Love;  Elaine Abrams, author of What Crack Is Cracked Up To Be; Monda Webb, Author of 7:33am;  Lonnie Henderson, author of NEVA~EH: Prince of Black Angels; Freedom Speaks Diaspora, author of Manjani;  West Coast Biz, author of Be Like That Sometimes; Sherrance Henderson, author of The Ten Year Date and numerous other pavilion exhibitors, authors and self-publishers.


A wonderful and welcome visit to the pavilion was made by the stunningly beautiful Omarosa, television personality (The Apprentice) and author of the new title, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn It On and Off.  She was accompanied by her mother, graciously signed autographs, and posed for pictures with authors, exhibitors and pavilion attendees. Omarosa spoke about her association with Donald Trump, her new book and up-coming television show.


Carol Mackey, the legendary Editor-In-Chief, Black Expressions Book Club, stopped by to say a few words to the pavilion exhibitors and attendees while scouting new titles in the pavilion for the book club.


The Saturday afternoon Awards Presentation was nothing short of spectacular, featuring Keynote Speaker George C. Fraser, best-selling author of CLICK: Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships and Success Runs In Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African American Community.  Mr. Fraser was the recipient of the 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, James Haskins “Pioneer” Award.  


ZANE, Publisher, Strebor Books International, LLC/Simon & Schuster, National Best-Selling Author of several New York Times and Essence Best-Selling titles, including: Addicted, The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth, The Heat Seekers, Nervous, The Sisters of APF, Shame On It All, The Sex Chronicles 2 and Skyscrapers offered great advice to the many new and established authors and publishers in attendance; and Suzanne De Passe and ZANE spoke about a new television collaberation between ZANE and the Depasse Entertainment Company.  Zane was awarded The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Audra Lorde “Gambia Adisa” “Distinctive Voice Writer and Publisher” Award.


Mary B. Morrison, New York Times and Essence National Best-Selling Author of Sweeter Than Honey, Who’s Loving You, He’s Just a Friend, Some Bodies Gotta Be On Top, Never Again Once More, She Ain’t the One, When Somebody Loves You, and author as Honey B., of Sexcapades. Mary shared her experiences as a beginning author and now as a highly notable author role model. Mary B. Morrison is the 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, Ntozake Shange “Legendary Writer of The Decade.” 


Other program speakers included:  Cheryl D. Woodruff, President and Associate Publisher of Smiley Books;  Judith Curr, Executive Vice President, Publisher and Founder of Atria Books a division of Simon and Schuster;  Wade Hudson, President/CEO, Just Us Books, The nations largest African American Children’s Book Publisher;  Darrell Miller, Miller and Pliakas, LLP, (client list includes: Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Outkast and Ludacris);  Tonya Evans-Walls, Publisher, Legal Write Publications and author;  Dr. Kenneth Edelin, Publisher/Author, Pond View Press;  Na’kisha Crawford, Motivational Speaker and Essence Best-Selling Author and Beverly Black Johnson, Publisher/Author, Gumbo For The Soul Publications.


The 2008 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America Awards Ceremony concluded with several top honors being presented:


The 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America Glenn Thompson “Lifetime Achievement ” Awardee was Lerone Bennett Jr.. Mr. Bennett, the author of the National Best-Seller, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, has received numerous honors and awards including the prestigious Literature Award of the Academy of Arts and Letters. He is an Alumnus of Morehouse College.


Tavis Smiley, the author of eleven books/editor of The New York Times #1 Best-Seller, The Covenant with Black America, was the recipient of the 2008 African American Pavilion at BookExpo America Glenn Thompson “Lifetime Achievement’ Award. He has received numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees and is an alumnus of Indiana University.  The African American Pavilion was honored by Mr. Smiley’s gracious and memorable acceptance speech.


THE 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA, “Book of the Year” Awardee was Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama for New York Times Best-Seller, Dreams  From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. 


The  2008 “Haki Madhubuti” Independent African American “Publisher of the Year” was W. Paul Coates, Founder and Director of Black Classic Press, which specializes in republishing obscure and significant works by and about people of African descent. 


The African American Pavilion”BEA Trailblazer” Awardee is Kassahun Checole.  Mr. Checole is the President and Publisher of Africa World Press/Red Sea Press;  Crystal Lacey Winslow is the 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA, Chester B. Himes “Street Lit” Publisher Awardee. Crystal Lacey Winslow is CEO of Melodrama Publishing founded in 2001 by the award-winning author;  The 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA “Christian Book Publisher of the Year” is Denise Stinson, CEO, Walk Worthy Press;  The 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA, “Children’s Book Author Emeritus” is Irene Smalls, an award-winning Author/Storyteller/Historian;  The 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA “Distributor of the Year” awardees were Brother Nati and Tabia Kamau-Nataki, Co-Owners, Afrikan World Book Distribution;  The 2008 African American Pavilion at BEA “Book Stores of the Year” were: Crystal Bobb-Semple and Walston Bobb-Semple, Co-Owners, Brownstone Books;  James Fugate and Tom Hamilton, Co-Owners, Esowon Books;  Gwen and Willie Richardson, Co-Owners, Cush and Naomi Webb, owner of the Windsor Hills Christian Book Center.


Tony Rose, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the African American Pavilion at Book Expo America stated, “I am elated at the overwhelming success of the pavilion and it’s programs.   ‘Thanks ‘ are pouring in from many sources – publishers, sponsors, advertisers, exhibitors, authors, self-publishers and attendees – who networked, made deals, sold books, signed new book deals, acquired distribution and in their words ‘had a remarkable time!’  In turn, I thank all those who participated, our wonderful speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers, as well as my co-founders Adrienne Ingrum and Niani Colom, and my staff, including:  Yvonne Rose, National Director;  Lynnette McMillon, National Director of Publicity and Promotions;  Heather Covington, Host, and National Director of On-Line Promotions;  Cheryl Crosby, Associate Director of Sponsorships;  Therez Fleetwood,  Exhibitor Relations;  Philip Herbert, Exhibitor Relations;  Kristen Willis, Assistant, Exhibitor Relations;  Darnell Smith, Exhibitor Relations and Kamali Minter, Videographer.  I’d like to also thank Steve Rosato, Mike Carlucci, Lance Fensterman and all of our partners at BookExpo America.” 


Mr. Rose, highly commended for producing and co-founding the hugely successful African American Pavilion at Book Expo America, received several awards.  Steve Rosato, The Director of Strategic Accounts and Industry Development for BookExpo America, presented The 2008 BEA “Founders” Award.  Mr. Rosato stated, “We honor your extraordinary contributions, service and commitment to the African American Book Publishing Industry.”   Cynthia Exum, Founder and Director of the 2nd Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair and Bernard C. Parks, Councilmember 8th District, Los Angles, presented a proclamation from the City of Los Angeles and the State of California, which stated:  “For your extraordinary contributions to the literacy legacy of Los Angeles, the State of California, and the United States”,   Charles L. Chatmon, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Black Book Expo presented a “Certificate of Appreciation” which stated: “Presented to Tony Rose, in honor of your outstanding contribution in promoting African American Literature.”


Tony Rose acknowledged, “The fellowship shown to us, the receptions and honors given to us by the community, the people of Los Angeles through The Leimert Park Village Book Fair and The los Angeles Black Book Fair, was tremendous and supportive.  We look forward to our continuing friendship and work with Cynthia Exum and Charles Chatmon as we, along with Max Rodriguez, Founder of the Harlem Book Fair, continue to strive to keep literacy at the forefront of our African American communities.”


Preparations are underway for the 2009 African American Pavilion at Book Expo America being held at the John Jacob Javit’s Convention Center in New York City from May 28th to May 31st.  To register, contact Mike Carlucci, Director of Sales, Book Expo America, 203-840-5625 or email:  . For further information, contact Tony Rose, Executive Director/Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA at 520-568-6692 or email:  or visit: WWW.AMBERBOOKS.COM  (The African American Pavilion 2008 link).


The sponsors for the 2008 5th Annual African American Pavilion were:  Amber Communications Group, Inc.;  Adrienne Ingrum, Adrienne Ingrum, LLC.;  QBR The Black Book Review;  Diversity City Media, Inc/;  Written Magazine;;;;  Sheridan Books, Inc.;  Scholastic Inc.;  Oxford University Press;  Amber Books and BookExpo America.


Media Contact:


Lynette McMillon

National Publicity Director, The African American Pavilion at BEA



Tony Rose



Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA






Executive Director and Co-Founder, The African American Pavilion at BEA



















































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