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Legends Remembered: Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee

Leimert Park Village Book Fair pays tribute to the best in African American Arts and Culture

Los Angeles, CA (July 28, 2014) - For almost a decade, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair has celebrated African American arts and culture and those talented individuals responsible for bringing the written word to life. In keeping with that tradition, the eighth annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair will give a tribute to poet Maya Angelou and actress Ruby Dee. The book fair, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, will also debut the first Annual Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards.

African American news from Pasadena - Community - Book Fair honors Maya Angelou and Ruby DeeIt could be argued that no commemoration of the written word in African America literature would be complete without the mention of Dr. Maya Angelou. One of the most renowned and prolific voices of our time, she was truly an American treasure. In addition to mastering the art of poetry, Dr. Angelou was a celebrated memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, dancer, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.

Her critically acclaimed 1970 memoir, I know why the Caged Bird Sings, was nominated for the National Book Award, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years and has sold approximately four million copies. The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction includes more than 30 best-selling titles.

African American news from Pasadena - Community - Book Fair honors Ruby Dee and Maya AngelouMost known for her acting career, Ruby Dee was also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and activist. She is perhaps best known for her roles in A Raisin in the Sun, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever and the long running soap opera, Guiding Light. In 2008, at the age of 83, Ms. Dee was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal in American Gangster with Denzel Washington. She was the second oldest actress to be nominated for an Oscar.

Ms. Dee was also an early supporters of the civil rights movement. She was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC). In 1989, she and her husband, the late actor Ossie Davis, were voted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame. The couple were also recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors and the American National Medal of the Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, D.C.

In an effort to recognize literary excellence in today's writers, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair will introduce the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards. Jessie Redmon Fauset was a female African American editor, poet, essayist and novelist. The author of four novels as well poetry and non-fiction, Faucet was known as one of the most intelligent women novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. The Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards will honor the best entries in the categories of General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry/Spoken Word, Children/Young Readers and Youth/Teen/Young Adults.

"It's an honor to coordinate Leimert Park Village Book Fair's first Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards," said Awards Director Annette Thomas. Ms. Thomas is a Communications and Marketing Specialist who has worked with the Harlem Book Fair as Awards Director and the NAACP Image Awards as Literary Coordinator. "We've received over 60 entries from all over the country. Some of the top publishing houses have submitted entries. It's going to be a close competition and we're very excited," said Ms. Thomas.

In addition to the tribute to Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee and the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair will feature an array of exciting events, activities and programs that focus on the literary and cultural contributions based on this year's theme, "1970-1979: The Decade of Self-Expression." The annual Legacy Awards will recognize "Good Times" creator and award winning screenwriter, Eric Monte ("Cooley High," "The Jeffersons," "All in the Family"); legendary musician/philanthropist Stevie Wonder; and actress Marla Gibbs.

For additional information on LPVBF's events and activities, please call (323) 730-0628 or visit www.leimertparkbookfair.com.

[About Leimert Park Village Book Fair:  Produced by Exum and Associates in partnership with Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, 2nd District, the LPVBF also is supported by public partners the City of Los Angeles; Sponsors include Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Capri Capital Partners, Strategic Counsel PLC, Nestle U.S.A., Inc., The Gas Company, Time Warner Cable, KABC-Channel 7, K-PFK 90.7 FM Radio, and The Walt Disney Company. 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.]

Philanthropists and Art Historians Dr. Bernard C. and Shirley Kinsey continue 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.

[About Baldwin Hills Crenshaw: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw (BHC) is an 870,000-square-foot retail destination located at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. Anchored by Macys, Sears and Wal-Mart, with over 100 specialty stores, state-of-the-art cinemas and dining options, BHC has long been recognized as the hub of the surrounding communities. From a signature concert series known as BHC Live!, monthly Kid's Club and a weekly Farmers' Market to the many public services offered at the mall, it is clear that BHC is more than just a place to shop, it's a central gathering place for the local community. BHC is entrenched in the local lifestyle, and is committed to making this neighborhood an even better place to live, work, shop and just BE! BHC partners with several leading community partners to support a variety of worthwhile events throughout the year, and continue to support programming that reflects the history and interests of its local residents.  Baldwin Hills Crenshaw is managed and leased by Primestor Development, Inc. Primestor is a full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in the management, revitalization and development of shopping centers in urban areas.]


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