2011 PRESS

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2011

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LEIMERT PARK VILLAGE BOOK FAIR
ANNOUNCES 2011 LINEUP OF AUTHORS
Literary FiguresScholars + Entertainment Personalities Merge for an Explosive Lineup


LOS ANGELES – For an intellectually, stimulating day, come to the fifth annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF). The producers of the book fair are excited to bring an interesting mix of authors, scholars, poets, spoken-word artists with entertainment and television personalities, merging the two worlds of literary and entertainment to offer an eclectic mix of literature, art, and music.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Leimert Park on the Vision Theatre Back lot, located at 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard. The family-oriented event is held in the heart of Leimert Park, which is considered the center of the African American arts/intellectual scene. The event is free and open to the public.

The book fair is produced by Exum and Associates in partnership with L.A. councilman Bernard C. Parks, 8th District,. The LPVBF is also supported by public partners Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, 2nd District; the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Community Build; and the Leimert Park Village Merchant’s Association. Sponsors include Nestle U.S.A., Inc., The Gas Company, SEIU–ULTCW, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, and The Walt Disney Company. For more information, visit www.leimertparkbookfaircom.

This annual book fair has become a much-anticipated cultural tradition in the community. It provides authors an opportunity to promote their newest work and meet some of their fans up close and personal.
“We are pleased to welcome back this wonderful literary event," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District. “Each year the fair continues to bring together great writers in the community, as well as attract some of the nation’s most pre-eminent and highly-regarded authors, poets, and spoken word artists -- all for the celebration and love of books and reading. And just like last year -- this will be another great opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors as well as discover new ones."

More than 5,000 enthusiastic book lovers, families and fans will be treated to celebrity readings, booksignings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances, and musical entertainment for the whole family – all encouraging reading, writing and literacy in the African American community. Plus, in the Children’s Village, sponsored by Nestle USA, kids will enjoy a crafts pavilion, celebrity storytelling, face-painting, book give-aways and more. A Healthy Food culinary stage sponsored by the Gas Company will feature cooking demonstrations as well as an appearance by celebrity chef Govind Armstrong, the visionary behind the Table 8 restaurants in Los Angeles and Miami,

The lineup of participants at this year’s book fair include:

ON THE MAIN STAGE
The Intelligentsia
In the Spirit With Susan L. Taylor – Taylor’s name is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built — first, as its fashion and beauty editor to editor-in-chief in 1981 and the publications director in 2000, a position she held until her departure in 2008. As editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, Taylor penned a monthly inspirational column called, In the Spirit, a popular feature of the magazine. In 1993, a collection of her columns was published for her first book, In the Spirit. Today, she is the force behind the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a mentoring movement to recruit one million able adults to help secure African American children who are in peril and losing ground.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux – Dr. Malveaux is the 15th president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC. Recognized for her progressive and insightful observations, Dr. Malveaux is also an economist, author and commentator, and has been described by Dr. Cornel West as “the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country.” Her contributions to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and its economic impacts, are shaping public opinion in 21st century America. She is the author of “Striving and Surviving: 365 Days in Black Economic History” (Last Word Productions).

Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley – Dr. Kelley is the newly-appointed Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His books include the prize-winning, “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original,” “Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression,” and “Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class.” For his most recent book, “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original” (Free Press), Kelley received several honors, including Best Book on Jazz from the Jazz Journalists Association and the Ambassador Award for Book of Special Distinction from the English Speaking Union. It was a finalist for PEN USA Literary Award. The Monk family, notably Thelonious Monk Jr., granted Kelley access to rare historical documents for his biography. No other scholar has ever had such access and support from the Monk family.

Dr. Maulana Karenga – Dr. Karenga is professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. An activist-scholar of national and international recognition, Dr. Karenga has played a major role in Black intellectual and political culture since the 60’s, especially in Black Studies and social movements. He is the creator of the Pan-African cultural holiday Kwanzaa and author of numerous scholarly articles and books. Currently, he is writing a book on the social and ethical philosophy of Malcolm X, titled “The Liberation Ethics of Malcolm X: An Emancipatory Critique and Corrective.”

The Kinseys – Married for more than 40 years, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are known for their incredible collection of African-American art, books and manuscripts that document and tell the remarkable story of African Americans triumphs and struggles from 1632 to the present. They are the authors of “The Kinsey Collection,” a 155-page coffee-table book that showcases the couple's incredible art collection, reflecting a rich cultural and historical heritage.

…and the Pulitzers
Isabel Wilkerson – Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer who is currently professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University. Her first book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Random House) is the first major work to chronicle the Great Migration and its aftermath on a national scale, over the course of nearly a century. As the Chicago bureau chief at The New York Times, she won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her pieces on the rural heartache of the Midwest floods and her profile of a ten–year–old boy growing up with a man's obligations on the South Side of Chicago. She was the first black woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first black American to win for individual reporting.

Douglas A. Blackmon – A journalist for the Wall Street Journal, Blackmon nabbed a Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category for his book, “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II,” (Doubleday), a precise and eloquent work that examines a deliberate system of racial suppression and that rescues a multitude of atrocities from virtual obscurity. He calls it the “age of neo-slavery.”

The Crowd Pleasers:
For the Single Ladies -- As a popular, award-winning blogger, life coach and editor for Essence magazine, Lucas has seen it all regarding dating and love —as both a relationship chronicler and as a professional woman navigating the waters of singlehood in New York City. Recently named one of Essence.com’s “40 Fierce & Fab Under 40,” Lucas is the go-to girl for the what-to-dos and the what-not-to-dos in relationships. She is the author of “A Belle In Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria Books).

Catching Up With Todd Bridges: The former child star—best known as Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes — shares the shocking but inspirational details of his struggles with addiction, brushes with the law, and fierce fight to carve a path through the darkness and find his true identity in his memoir “Killing Willis: From Diff'rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted ” (Touchstone). One of the first African-American child actors on shows like “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons”, and “Roots,” Bridges burst to the national forefront on the hit sitcom Diff’rent Strokes as the subject of the popular catchphrase, "What’chu Talkin About Willis?"

Govind Armstrong – Raised in both Los Angeles and the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, chef Armstrong brings diverse talent to the table. He has trained with some of the most renowned chefs, including Wolfgang Puck in the original Spago and the Arzak restaurant, which is the pre-eminent Michelin three-star establishment in San Sebastian, Spain. Armstrong is a media darling in the culinary arts with guest appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Bravo’s “Top Chef,” and the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” He’s the author of “Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties” (Crown Publishing Group).

A special appearance by …
Sugar Ray Leonard -- was a National Golden Gloves champion in 1973 and 1974 and won a gold medal for the United States in the 1976 Olympics. Leonard won several world titles as a professional boxer before retiring for the last time in 1997. He is an inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His book, “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring,” is a brutally- honest and uplifting memoir, revealing intimate details for of the complex man behind the boxer. The Olympic hero, multi-championship winner, and beloved athlete waged his own personal battle with depression, rage, addiction, and greed. Along with a special appearance on the mainstage, the boxing legend will be signing his books at Eso Won bookstore.
Eso Won Books | 4331 Degnan Blvd, LA, CA | book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m

CHILDREN’S VILLAGE | Children’s Main Stage
Actress Karyn Parsons, known for her role as Hilary Banks on the NBC hit series, “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” will entertain the little ones as one of the celebrity readers on the Children’s mainstage. Parsons founded Sweet Blackberry, a non-profit educational organization that shares inspirational stories to children about African-American achievements.


About Leimert Park Village Book Fair:
Produced by Exum and Associates in partnership with L.A. City 8th District Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, the LPVBF also is supported by public partners Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, 2nd District; the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Community Build and the Leimert Park Village Merchant’s Association. Sponsors include Nestle U.S.A., Inc., The Gas Company, SEIU–ULTCW, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, and The Walt Disney Company. The mission of LPVBF is to promote, encourage and advocate literacy, education and the love of reading throughout the Greater Los Angeles areas. LPVBF is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to producing year-round educational programming, as well as to the presentation of events in collaboration with our partners, in addition to the annual summer fair for which the organization is named.

This year, event producers tapped philanthropists Shirley and Bernard Kinsey as honorary co-chairs to lead fund-raising efforts and facilitate in increasing the book fair’s brand awareness among the corporate community. The Kinseys are one of the most admired and respected couples in Los Angeles. They are known for their collection of African-American art, books and manuscripts that document and tell the remarkable story of African Americans triumphs and struggles from 1632 to the present. The Kinsey Collection: “Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey” has been on a national tour and seen by millions.

Want to Go?
Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Saturday, June 25, 2010
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Leimert Park | Vision Theatre Back lot | 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard
The event is free and open to the public.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair will feature iconoclast interviews, booksignings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings, stage performances, musical entertainment and a variety of activities for the whole family. Plus, in the Children’s Village, kids will enjoy a crafts pavilion, celebrity storytelling, face-painting, book give-aways and more.


CONTACTS:
Wyllisa Bennett, publicist + program curator
wrb public relations
(310) 266.9704
wyllisa@aol.com
Cynthia Gibson, publicist
CKG COMMUNICATIONS
(310) 410-9039
ckg@ckgcommunications.net