Sugar Ray Leonard Bob and Weave Into the 5th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair
Boxing Legend’s Special Appearance Adds a Knockout Punch to
Celebrity-Filled Line-up of Authors
With a jab, cross, uppercut and hook, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard enters the another stage–this time for the fifth annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) promoting his book “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring.” His appearance packs a punch to an interesting mix of authors, poets, spoken-word artists with entertainment and television personalities, merging the two worlds of literary and entertainment to offer an eclectic mix of literature, poetry, 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 4318 Degnan Blvd in Los Angeles. 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. KTLA’s anchor Chris Schauble and KJLH-FM’s program director Aundrae Russell will share hosting duties. For more information, visit www.leimertparkbookfaircom.
In Leonard’s brutally-honest and uplifting autobiography, “The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring,” the 1976 Olympic gold medalist, multi-world boxing champion, and beloved athlete reveals his personal battles with depression, rage, addiction and greed. At 11 a.m., the boxing superstar will be at Eso Won Books for a book signing before taking the book fair’s main stage at 12 p.m. (The bookstore is located across the street from the main stage.)
Other celebrities-personalities-turned-authors added to the main stage lineup include:
• Isaiah Washington–an award-winning actor, Isaiah Washington is best known for his role of Dr. Preston Burke on the hit TV show “Grey’s Anatomy, ” and the media firestorm that ensued after an alleged conflict onset. But, the conflict that by far matters most to Washington is much more personal. Revealed in his new memoir, “A Man From Another Land: How Finding My Roots Changed My Life” (Center Street/Hachette Book Group), Washington details an inner struggle for identity finally fulfilled through DNA testing and outlines his ongoing campaign to improve his newfound homeland–Sierra Leone.
• 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?”
• Russ Parr–Parr is a nationally-syndicated radio host heard weekdays by 3.2 million listeners in 45 cities across America. And he’s no stranger to LA. Back in the day, he held a stint as a former radio host on 1580 KDAY, which is now 93.5 KDAY. Today, he is also a writer and director for several films, including his latest, “35 & Ticking,” that will open at the new Rave Theatre -formerly the AMC Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15–on July 1. Having tackled every aspect of the entertainment industry, Parr certainly has some stories to tell. He chronicles his experiences in the industry in a new self-help book titled “The Game Behind the Game: Mastering the Art of Bullshit” (Farrah Gray Publishing, Inc.).
• 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).
Other Offerings| FROM CONCEPT TO CAMERA Panel Discussion
In addition to the eclectic lineup of authors, poets, spoken-word artists with entertainment and television personalities, the Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) will hosts the panel discussion, “From Concept to Camera” at 3 p.m. on the mainstage. Moderated by HBFF founder and executive director, Tanya Kersey, this panel features leading film directors, sharing their wisdom about, experiences and anecdotes about directing movies. It’s a great glimpse behind-the-scenes into the making of movies, such as “Notorious,” “Not Easily Broken” and “This Christmas” from the film directors themselves.
The directors on this panel include:
• Preston Whitmore –is the writer, director and producer of “This Christmas,” a Sony picture starring Loretta Devine, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Regina King and Chris Brown. “This Christmas” has earned approximately $50 million in domestic box office revenues, and was the 47th top-grossing film of 2007. Preston wrote and produced three pictures which addressed the issue of disproportionate number of African American men and women incarcerated in our penal system–“Lockdown,” “Civil Brand,” and “Doing Hard Time.”
• Gary Hardwick–is a successful film director, screenwriter and novelist. Selected as a Walt Disney Writing Fellow, he began working in television and eventually became the executive producer for NBC’s “In the House.” He then turned his hand to screenwriting, writing for many films, including Universal’s hit “Bring It On” and “Two Can Play That Game.” As a director, his credits include “The Brothers” for Sony and “Deliver Us From Eva” for Focus Features. Interestingly, Hardwick is the author of eight novels, his latest–“Dark Town Redemption.”
• Russ Parr–By day, Russ Parr holds down a day job as a syndicated radio host, but when he’s not on the air, he’s making movies as an independent filmmaker. After its star-studded, opening night West Coast premiere at the Pan African Film Festival, “35 & Ticking,” will open on July 1, 2011 at the Rave Motion Pictures 15–formerly the AMC Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15–at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. “35 & Ticking” stars an all-star ensemble cast with Nicole Ari Parker, Tamala Jones, Kevin Hart, Keith Robinson, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Meagan Good For the social media release, visit http://pitch.pe/152506 or www.35andTicking.com.
The book fair is produced by Exum and Associates in partnership with L.A. councilman Bernard C. Parks, 8th District, and co-chaired by philanthropists Shirley and Bernard Kinsey. 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, The Walt Disney Company, UPS, Bank of America, Capri Capital Partners, the Kinsey Foundation, Time Warner Cable and KABC-TV 7. For more information, visit www.leimertparkbookfaircom.
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.