Harlem Book Fair

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The 9th Annual Harlem Book Fair, presented by QBR The Black Book Review, was sensational.  Televised annually on C-SPAN’s Book TV, The Harlem Book Fair is the largest African American book event in the nation.  Brothers and Sisters came together on one accord to celebrate our fine authors and their books. Hundreds of happy faces beaming along West 135th Street illuminated the entire neighborhood.

Donna Jackson, Vice President of The Phenomenal Woman Group traveled all the way from Long Island to enjoy the festivities with us.  We covered a lot of ground and had a wonderful time, meeting, greeting and enjoying the events of the day.

Inside the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Dominic Carter, host of NY1’s “Inside City Hall” and author of the shocker, “No Momma’s Boy,” Congressman, Charles Rangel, “And I Haven’t Had A Bad Day Since,” bestselling authors, June Cross, “Secret Daughter” and Dr. Yvonne Thornton, author of "The Ditch Digger’s Daughter," participated in a stimulating panel discussion on “Life’s Journeys and Success,” to a full house.  All of the wonderful choirs that graced the HBF Gospel Stage uplifted and entertained fairgoers, keeping the festivities joyous and live throughout the day.

Bestselling authors, emerging writers, spoken word artists, and performers came out to meet and greet fans and the community-at-large, sign autographs and chat and vibe with everyone. 

Wanda D. Hudson, author of “Wait for Love: A Black Girl's Story,” cheerfully shared with BSN, “My day was BUSY. I met many wonderful people, some that I have chatted with in various online literary groups. I sold 19 books, which is grand for a small dog like myself in the eyes of my peers!  To make my day even more special, a few readers asked me to pose for pictures with them! I told y’alI was about to blow up.  Oh, I'm such a DIVA.  My LuvMe - The Fragrance, was received rather well. It didn't fly off the table like I wanted it to, but the word is out - so part of my goal was accomplished.  My table was near Triple Crown Publications and Zane's table. I did have a chance to introduce myself to Zane. She accepted one of my short stories for publication in Chocolate Flava 2. I had to let her see that good stuff she chose! I didn't get to walk the fair this year, though.  But when I left, I saw a lot of the vendors and could tell that their day was grand.  Sign a sista up for next year!  (Yes, Wanda D. Hudson keeps us tuned-in on The Phenomenal Women Group's message board, sharing updates and alerting us that she’s about to blow up.  Apparently, the sister knows what she’s talking about.)

I spotted Hill Harper, author of "Letters to a Young Brother, MANifest Your Destiny" and star of the hit CBS drama series, CSI:NY, embracing a fan with a warm and sincere hug. Bestselling authors, Omar Tyree and Relentless Aaron, G-Unit, Heather Covington of Disilgold.com, acclaimed motivational speaker, Mark Anthony Jenkins, James Lisbon, Publisher of AMAG, Georgia Woodbine, author of “How To Make Big Bucks Without Selling Your Soul,” Tonya-E a/k/a Miss Right Now, on her “Stop Cussing Tour,” C&B Books Distribution, Lawrence Hosannah, fitness trainer and author of “12 Weeks to Beach Body Abs,” were just a few of the many authors and personalities who were spotted. 

Brenda Miller from Maryland attended with the Waiting 2 Exhale Book Club. “I met Wanda D. Hudson.  She is hilarious!  I also met Shannon Holmes, Kwan, Andrea Blackstone, Mike warren and so many more.  This was my first time coming to The Harlem Book Fair and I am looking forward to next year's. I stopped at the table to visit Dominic Carter but there were so many people there I couldn’t get through...  Everything was nice, the people, the food and pineapple lemonade -- off the hook.”

IPPY Award Winning, Bestselling author, Kathy J. Marsh , author of "The Aura of Love" stated, “I had a great time at the fair!!  And, I was nominated for another award!!!  They made the nominee announcements at the fair.  I didn't even know that was going on, so I didn't hear it, but I learned that I was nominated for an African American Literary Award in the Romance category.  I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ to all my readers and those who voted for me.’ The Harlem Book Fair really was a wonderful experience.”

A Rare Affair brought members of The Phenomenal Women Group in from Baltimore, MD to enjoy the festivities of the day.  Independent Rep, Lisa Wyche donated Mary Kay cosmetic samples and fragrances to give the Group a warm New York welcome.

I was thrilled, but not surprised to run into my friend, Ryan Mack, CEO of Optimum Capital, who was accompanied by a few of the wonderful youth from his All About Business program.  The young men were cheerfully, yet relentlessly working hard, distributing literature and educating people about finance and economic empowerment. Ryan joyfully reported to me that, as a result of this reporter's coverage of the Youth Economic Empowerment Walk that he ran in conjunction with The Professionals last month in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, two of his students got writing assignments with Harlem News, to cover small businesses in the community.  Way to go, guys!  Harlem News is very much appreciated for their commitment to small business empowerment and to the youth.  Ryan is doing an amazing job with his youth.  They have no problem letting you know that they’re All About Business.  There are also two ladies in the group, but the participants are predominantly young gentlemen. 

No matter where I see Andrew Morrison, he is always teaching and inspiring.  Andrew Morrison is CEO of Small Business Camp and author of "21 Questions That Will Build Your Business In 90 Days." I was fortunate to get the opportunity to chat with Andrew for a moment, and subsequently, he introduced me to a cool, young Brother who aspires to be an entrepreneur.  After Andrew’s initial introduction, I asked the Brother for a business card.  The Brother stated that he didn’t bring any because he didn’t expect to come to the fair.  I replied politely, “That’s okay,” and continued in dialogue with the young man, when Andrew cut me right off – “Excuse me; but it’s not okay,” he admonished in a gentle, but firm manner.  “You never travel without your business card.  It is how prospective customers and business associates will be able to contact you for future business interactions. You never know who you are going to meet throughout your day or where you may happen to be at a certain time.”  That is priceless information this young Brother can use for the rest of his life.  Notice that I keep referring to him as, “the Brother?”  That is because, as important as he is and as interesting as his business concept was, I covered so much ground and so much was going on that day, I cannot recall the Brother’s name or his business.  Had I received his business card, he and his business would have been mentioned in the News today.

Poet, Dow K. Buford had available to the public, his inspiring, entertaining and most informative piece, “Black Innovations That Built This Nation.”  It is a somewhat lengthy poem, listing scores of Black inventors, in rhyme. 

Eula Mae Young, COO of Griot's Roll Film Production, Inc., told BSN, "I live on 135th Street, so I get to see all the action from the different events.  Out of everything that we have on 135th Street the Harlem Book Fair is my favorite.  My six year old enjoys it more than I do.  I told her that she can purchase three books, so she had me running up and down the street looking at books.  By the time she settled on her books, I was tired.  But I was happy I got to meet Dominic Carter. The weather was wonderful; not too hot with a nice breeze. I recommend that you make The Harlem Book Fair a family event.  I bought books for Kwanzaa and birthdays.  So now, my shopping list is almost complete.  My sister comes down and purchases all her books for the holidays.  The day was awesome.  Can't wait until next year."

It was a beautiful experience.  Everyone is anticipating next year’s Harlem Book Fair. 

Until then, here’s a link to some very cool photos of the happenings at The Harlem Book Fair, complements of James Lisbon, Publisher of AMAG -- Awareness Magazine: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=hw3u91y.ccsbd58m&Uy=7obf5m&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=1&UV=365322636183_282450200306

Brenda Jeanne Wyche, Advocate for Solutions and Results is Managing Editor for The Black Star News and Harlem Business News.  If you have a solution, contact
Brenda@blackstarnews.com .  Maybe we’ll talk.

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