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"I read, Therefore, I am" was the theme of this year's festival and paid special tribute to poet and writer, Dr. Maya Angelou and civil rights activist/actor Ruby Dee

Photo by Sabir Majeed

The annual festival brings awareness of the importance of literacy in the African American community.

The 8th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) continues to bring awareness and emphasize the importance of reading and literacy within the community. This year the festival was held at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on Saturday, August 9. “I read, Therefore, I am” was the theme of this year’s festival and paid special tribute to poet and writer, Dr. Maya Angelou and civil rights activist/actor Ruby Dee.

The LPVBF remembered the incomparable Angelou and her immeasurable contributions to the world. The festival acknowledges her literary accomplishments and the inspiring use of those accomplishments to champion worthy causes.  And with over 30 best-selling titles, she leaves an archetype of works that will continue to hearten society and future leaders. Dee was an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film. Her long career brought her an Oscar nomination at age 83 for best supporting actress for her role in the 2007 film "American Gangster." She also won an Emmy and was nominated for several others.

This year’s festival had a main stage, children’s area, panel discussion/seminar and poet’s salon/performance stage. On the main stage, LPVBF Executive Director/Founder, Cynthia E. Exum, Dr. Bernard C. and Shirley Kinsey, Councilman Bernard C. Parks, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas opened the book fair and welcomed visitors. The main stage also featured a conversation with Marla Gibbs, panel discussion on education and the African American community, a tribute to 70s music and dance, poetry spotlight among other highlights.

This year’s LPVBF 2014 honorees, chairs, ambassadors, special guests included Marla Gibbs, Stevie Wonder, Eric Monte, the Kinseys, S. Pearl Sharp, Nay Nay Kirby, Aaron Rashaan, Tyger Williams, Abdul Williams, Rob Edwards, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Lena Waithe.

This year’s partners include the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall, Nestle, Southern California Gas Company, Sempra Energy Utility, Time Warner Cable, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, PBS, Radio Free KJLH, ABC7, KPFK, Kidspace Children’s Museum, Final Draft and Southwest Airlines.

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Category: Crenshaw & Around


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