“Bless He of the talking book, who heard the words and set a course to force a tongue, not his by birth, to tell his story,” wrote Alice Lovelace in “I Believe in Forever.” The Harlem Book Fair believes, too; it believes in writers, and their “talking book” and will celebrate them in the largest Black book fair anywhere on Saturday, July 17 at the Thurgood Marshall Academy, located at 214 West 135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. (near the corner of Seventh Avenue).
The Harlem Book Fair has brought joy, exposure and confirmation of the intellectual capital of Black folk and value to their experiences and their lives. This year, the Harlem Book Fair pays homage to “Women of Word and Power” with Terry McMillan; Bernice McFadden; Queen Afua; Gloria Browne Marshall, Esq. and the legendary poet, playwright, educator, activist Sonia Sanchez.
“What brought us to our theme this year is the fact that it is important that we honor our women because we know that we could not exist without the power that our women share with us and share for us. And our own power emanates from who they are,” explained Max Rodriquez, founder of the Harlem Book Fair (HBF).
Events begin in the Schomburg Center at 10:30 a.m. with a tribute to Book-TV, followed by a tribute to Howard Dodson and then a panel discussion lead by Malaika Adero, founder of the Up South literary festivals. Panelists include Obery Hendricks, Dr. Marta Morena Vega, and Sarah Sayeed and Bishop Carlton Pearson.
The 1 p.m. panel will be televised on C-SPAN. The topic: President Barack Obama and Human Rights in the 21st Century American Society. Panelists include William Jelani Cobb; Yohuru Williams; Gloria Browne-Marshall, Esq.; Peniel Joseph; Paul Butler; and Steve Clark. Rev. Herbert Daughtry will moderate.
On Saturday, July 17 at 3 p.m. The tribute titled “Haiku and Hand Grenades: Sonia Sanchez” will honor Sister Sonia. The event will be hosted by producer and spoken-word artist DuEwa Frazier, daughter of the esteemed educator and percussionist Eric Frazier.
Cultural icons from the ’70s through today, Sonia Sanchez and Haki Madhibuti, the poet formerly known as Don L. Lee, represented a culture of protest and Black pride to the world. Now, publisher and author Haki Madhibuti will honor Sister Sonia. Harlem Book Fair and the Quarterly Book Review founder Max Rodriquez will participate in the honor as will Tracie Morris, Willie Perdomo, David Mills, Pineal E. Joseph, Eric Frazier, Atiba Wilson and the B4 Quartet flute ensemble, and an African drum circle. Sonia Sanchez will sign copies of her latest work, “Morning Haiku.”
Also, on Saturday, Troy Johnson of the African-American Literature Book Club (AALBC.com) and Kara Smith of KarasmaMedia PR will present host four one-hour social media marketing workshops “that will provide a foundation for using websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to promote yourself and/or your business,” notes Smith.
The Harlem Book Fair 2010 will feature the annual Phyllis Wheatley Awards and honor Howard Dodson, chief of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Dr. Dodson will retire in February 2011. Special award recognition will go to C-SPAN for its uncompromised courage in the coverage of the Harlem Book Fair. Heart and Soul magazine will sponsor a Relationship Wellness pavilion.
For the complete list of special guests, panels and events, visit www.qbr.com.