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The Leimert Park Village Book Fair
By Sentinel News Service
Published July 1, 2010


Councilman Bernard Parks with Bernard Kinsey unveil 44-cent Oscar Micheaux stamp

(L to R) Eric Jerome Dickey, Louis Gossett, Jr. and Tom Burrell (Photo by Malcolm Ali)

Sentinel News Service

In the distance, the echoes of drums can be heard in nearby Leimert Park where an array of drummers belted out music, along with tambourines, encircled Black women dancing, onlookers gaping and passers-by just passing by, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair was in full swing.

A Black Cultural Mecca where, on weekends, the area is buzzing with activity, the village book fair was an added attraction last weekend.  It was all that was expected to be and more.  There too, music played, singers sang, children danced and performed, and books were the theme.

It was the fourth annual book fair, a collaboration of 8th District Councilman Bernard Parks and the fair’s producer, Cynthia Exum, and co-host Sharon Graine.  It drew a crowd of authors, dancers, entertainers and visitors including Academy-award winner Louis Gossett, Jr.; authors Tom Burrell and Eric Jerome Dickey; artists David Brown and Mohammed Mubarak; energetic conversations and poetry reading; a children’s stage and the main stage which featured an array of music and performances.

Wherever books are on parade scholarly themes always follow.  There were panels and discussions such as the unveiling of the 44-cent Oscar Micheaux stamp (Micheaux made movies when Blacks were not even allowed in many movie theatres); the history of Los Angeles was presented by Charles Drew University; the dichotomy that was created between Blacks from Africa and the Caribbean was explored; and many other historic themes.

The Leimert Park Village area is a beehive of activity throughout the year and it is a place where Blacks celebrate all cultural, social and religious holiday seasons from the King Holiday and Kwanzaa to Christmas and Juneteenth, and beyond.  It is where politicians and activists come to woo the people and express their points of view.   It is an integral part of the Los Angeles Black experience.


Categories: Local

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