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19th Annual Harlem Book Fair!

On Saturday, 7/15/17, there will be spoken word events, over 200 exhibit booths, music, panel discussions and children’s activities will be on hand at the Harlem Book Fair. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday in the city.

“The vision of the Harlem Book Fair is to partner with local
and national leadership organizations under the banner of literacy
awareness, affirming HBF as the nation’s largest African American
literary event celebrating family literacy, community empowerment,
and community cooperation. “

 

19th Annual Harlem Book Fair

Saturday, July 15, 2017 – 10 AM – 6 PM

SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE

515 Lenox Avenue, West 135th Street,, NYC

Sidney Poitier – Author

“Those that stop their questioning at 75, 60, even 30, cut short their explorations and end up with permanently unfinished lives.” (From “Life Beyond Measure: Letter to My Great-Granddaughter”)

Wise octogenarian Sydney Poitier has been a natural treasure for quite awhile.

He’s won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy. He has had success as an actor, director, author and perhaps more importantly, as a man.

He’s condensed life lessons learned into books not just about his journey, but also about how he has learned to conduct himself in a sometimes difficult world.

Born in 1927 in the Bahamas, Mr. Poitier went to New York as a teen, taught himself to read, catapulted himself into an acting career and created a wonderful life for himself and his family. Not an easy road, but he did it with humor, grace, determination and a never wavering belief in him self. Great stuff!

“The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography”, 2000

“Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter” 2005

 

DVD: “Precious“ * The Famous African Lady Detective

“Precious Ramotswe“ is Botswana‘s only female private investigator – the main character of the HBO series, now on DVD.

Lady Detective DVD“Precious” is played by Grammy winner Jill Scott. Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose and Idris Elba from “The Wire” are also part of the great cast. As in the books, our bush tea drinking, lady sleuth tracks down wayward husbands, missing children and solves village mysteries all the while keeping to the traditions of her culture and maintaining the standards of both Queen Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela (she admires both).

There are 3 DVDs in the set and I enjoyed them all. “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency“ has charm and heart. Great fun.

Directed by the late Anthony Minghella, “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency “, was produced for the BBC in 2008 and then shown in the U.S. in 2009.  It is based on the popular book series by Alexander McCall Smith.

BTW: I noticed a few years back that Ms Ramotswe and the author’s name were listed week after week on the San Francisco/Bay area California paperback bestseller list. I discovered that the Botswana detective has a worldwide cult following.

Books in the series:
* 1998 .The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
* 2000 .Tears Of The Giraffe
* 2001 .Morality for Beautiful Girls
* 2002 .The Kalahari Typing School for Men
* 2004 .The Full Cupboard of Life
* 2004 .In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
* 2006 .Blue Shoes and Happiness
* 2007 .The Good Husband of Zebra Drive


2016 Harlem Book Fair!

Harlem Book Fair 2012On July 16, 2016 there will be spoken word events, a forum for Caribbean writers, over 200 exhibit booths, music, panel discussions and children’s activities at the Harlem Book Fair. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday in the city.

“The vision of the Harlem Book Fair is to partner with local
and national leadership organizations under the banner of literacy
awareness, affirming HBF as the nation’s largest African American
literary event celebrating family literacy, community empowerment,
and community cooperation. “

 books large

18th Annual Harlem Book Fair

Saturday, July 16, 2016

SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE

515 Lenox Avenue, West 135th Street,, NYC

Info:
Tel:914.231.6778 / Tel: 212.491.2200

The Los Angeles Black Book Expo (LABBX) * 8/17/13

LABBX LogoLABBX, the Los Angeles Black Book Expo, returns on Saturday August 17, 2013. This free event, at the L.A. Convention Center,  will have “authors, storytellers, spoken word and poetry performances, musicians, exhibitors, children’s book authors, emerging writers, publishers, booksellers, panel discussions, editors, book reviewers…” all in support of having a glorious reading experience.

LABBX 2013

L.A.  Convention Center – Saturday August 17, 2013

Harlem Book Fair 2013

Happening this coming weekend is a  fantastic yearly event involving over 200 exhibit booths, music, panel discussions and children’s activities. Great way to spend a Saturday in the city!

 “The vision of the Harlem Book Fair is to partner with local and national leadership organizations under the banner of literacy awareness, affirming HBF as the nation’s largest African American literary event celebrating family literacy, community empowerment and community cooperation.“

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Harlem Book Fair

Saturday July 20, 2013

Schomburg  Center for Research in Black Culture

West 135th Street between Malcolm X Blvd and Fredrick Douglas Blvd

 

 

Toni Morrison – New Book!

I always get excited when Ms Morrison graces us with a new book. Just released this week, her latest is “Home”, which centers on a man’s two most life battering experiences – while a soldier during the Korean War and growing up in the South in the 50’s. 

Ms Morrison, now 81, has such a fantastical, spiritual approach to her characters and plot, but she’s also got “edge”. She can set a tone, paint a picture, capture identifiable feeling/emotion and describe events so clearly and with such poetry that it makes you laugh or, it makes you cry. There are some passages in her much acclaimed book “Beloved” that are so painful that your throat clutches and closes.  Her “truth”, cloaked in make believe, is sometimes difficult to handle – sort of a ground glass in the oatmeal type of thing. You feel it.

I think she is amazing and a real gift. “Home”, by Toni Morrison

 

FYI – “Beloved” won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and Ms Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.) 

 


1959 Was A Very Good Year!

An article by Fred Kaplan, “1959: Sex, Jazz, and Datsuns” featured in a past issue of New York Magazine determines that 1959 was an important year for music, politics, world dynamics, social issues, and the arts.  The 60’s might have gotten more press, but, 1959 was the year of change, innovation, out of the box thinking.

 

The magazine piece is based on Kaplan’s book, “1959: The Year Everything Changed”.  He presents his examples of some of the greatest happenings of this special year and they include:

*Actor turned director John Cassavetes was perhaps the first “Indie” filmmaker with his partly improvised script for his movie “Shadows”.

*Completion of the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, changed the NYC sky line on the upper East Side.

*The first micro chip introduced by Texas Instruments.

*The release of the Miles Davis album (they were albums then) “Kinda Blue” (considered by many to be best jazz recording ever).

*Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro invited to NYC and staying at the St Teresa Hotel in Harlem.

*The emergence of Malcolm X and his conversations on race and politics.

(What were you doing in 1959?)


The Los Angeles Black Book Expo (LABBX) * 8/20/11

Los Angeles will host its popular Black Book Expo again this year at the L.A. Convention Center. This one day event will offer “authors, storytellers, spoken word and poetry performances, musicians, exhibitors, children’s book authors, emerging writers, publishers, booksellers, panel discussions, editors, book reviewers…”


 

The Los Angeles Black Book Expo (LABBX)

L.A.  Convention Center – Saturday August 20, 2011


Book Corner : “100 Years of Solitude” – Escape From Reality

This last week has seemed, to me, to be full of a “series of unfortunate events”. By Friday, the last thing I needed was another news show or tabloid paper.  I wanted to be taken away, out of the realm of current happenings. (I know, “reality shows” aren’t really, but even they weren’t fantastical enough.)

I found an old copy of one of the most fascinating fantasies ever – “100 Years of Solitude” by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Written in 1967, the book recounts the history of a family that presides over a South American town called Macondo. It is the perfect “did it happen or didn’t it?” story.

Critics refer to García Márquez as a pioneer of “magical realism”. His work is often time shifting, mystical and surreal, it takes the reader to a different space, a different time. (Which can be such a relief when the “real” world starts to crowd in.)


“100 Years of Solitude” is a magical story – a definite adventure, a great book.

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