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Nay Nay Kirby
Victoria Rowell, Eriq LaSalle and Judge Mablean Ephriam to Discuss Their New Books
The 7th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair will offer both a special tribute to “The 1960s – America’s Era of Social Change,” and a critical examination of how that legacy has shaped life in the Era of Obama.
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 29 in the Leimert Park Vision Theatre back lot, 4318 Degnan Blvd.
“The 1960s were a turning point in American and African American History. It brought us the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the historic March on Washington, and lesser-known national protests of racism and privilege,” said a spokesperson for the event.
“It was a time when a change occurred in the way African Americans were viewed by others and in the way African Americans viewed themselves.
“Actors turned authors, Victoria Rowell, Eriq LaSalle and Judge Mablean Ephriam, reflect those changes. They portrayed the new, positive and confident image that prevails today.”
The Book Fair also will feature a panel discussion that ponders “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy in the Era of Obama,” featuring Rev. James Lawson, Jr., who moved to the South to be part of the then-burgeoning movement at Dr. King’s request. In fact, he holds a pivotal place in our nation’s history since it was Lawson, who invited Dr. King to Memphis in 1968 to support the Memphis Sanitation Strike where Dr. King gave his revered “I Have Been To The Mountaintop” speech in support of the strike. It is also the place, where on April 3, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated.
Best known for her long-running role as Drucilla Winters on the Viacom/CBS television series, “The Young and the Restless,” Rowell now claims the title of author.
In 2006, having debuted her memoir, “The Women Who Raised Me,” a tribute to the women who cared for her when her birth mother could not, she served as co-chair of the inaugural Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) that year. In 2010 she penned, “Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva,” and in 2012 “Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games,” which was co-authored with environmental activist, Paul Tukey.
Eriq LaSalle for eight seasons, starred as Dr. Peter Benton in NBCs medical drama, “ER.” In 2012, after several years of writing screenplays, LaSalle published his first novel, “Laws of Depravity,” a thriller about a twisted soul who every ten years butchers 12 clergymen to reflect the martyrdom of Jesus and his disciples.
From 1999 to 2006, Judge Mablean Ephraim, a former Los Angeles prosecuting attorney, provided a stern, strict but humorous televised approach to dealing with couples that were parting ways on “Divorce Court.” Her book, “Life Lessons – Tools for Weekly Living,” offers personal insight into what she has learned along the way.
The LPVBF Children’s Stage will also “serve up some fun.” Coordinated by LPVBF veteran Nina Womack, the Children’s Stage will feature 11-year-old Nay Nay Kirby, current star of the movie, “Who’s Watching the Kids?” and Donis Leonard Jr., who currently plays the role of Don Cheadle’s son, Roscoe in “House of Lies” on Showtime. This stage also will offer book giveaways by Nestle USA, performances by Studio Danza, the singing group, “Secure” and storytelling by Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Book Pals.
Panel discussions, exhibits, writing workshops, gourmet food vendors and live entertainment round out a fun-filled day designed to offer something to family members young and old including a 1960s vintage car exhibit from the Petersen Automobile Museum; readings from famous Civil Rights speeches and other writings on the Main Stage, as well as the Poet’s Stage. Nineteen sixties’ era attire is encouraged, but not required.
The day’s event will culminate with a “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Era” with special tributes to Stax Records, Motown Records and a dance performance by the Hollywood Hotshots from Dancing with the Stars.