Sunday, February 06, 2000

Book fair spotlights young black writers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        They're well-traveled, they're empowered, they're published authors and entrepreneurs. And they're not yet out of their teens.

        Atlantis Tye Browder, 17, and Donte Shackelford, 13, are just two of the many authors whose works embody the spirit of Black History Month and will be celebrated at Cincinnati's 10th annual Black Book Fair.

        “Strong Families: Now and Forever” is the theme of this year's fair, tying the black community to its historical and cultural roots through art, literature and entertainment.

        The annual event will be held downtown at the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center, Friday through next Sunday.

        In addition to offering books written by and about people of African descent, the fair will feature book signings and discussions with authors.

        Making appearances will be Ms. Browder, of Washington, D.C., author of My First Trip to Africa, and Africa on My Mind: Reflections of My Second Trip, and Mr. Shackelford of Dayton, motivational speaker and author of School is My Job: Poetry, Prose, and Rap.

        The fair will also feature seminars and workshops on topics ranging from business and investing to meditation and holistic health, including an introductory seminar on Egyptian yoga. More than 30 vendors will attend, displaying vintage books, clothing, art, jewelry and other wares.

        This year's focus on youth- and family-enrichment will highlight a Children's Corner, which will feature storytelling by children's authors and local celebrities as well as opportunities to interact with former Negro League baseball players and members of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame.

        Family-oriented cultural demonstrations and entertainment will be presented, and a black college fair and youth job fair will operate within the event. There will be computer training seminars to introduce youth to the electronic world.

        The Three Square Music Foundation will present its annual Black History Extravaganza at the fair as well, featuring events such as a gospel showcase, drill and dance teams, oratory and performing arts contests and a black historical figure contest.

        Issues such as drug and alcohol awareness, violence and crime prevention and black history will also be addressed in the Extravaganza and area service agencies will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.


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