National Black Book Festival


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Commercial Break - Voorhees College

We are taking a commercial break from “Drama at Part Time Job in Asylum” to bring you a new series: “Slow down in Denmark, SC” where the confederate flag is still, at least in their southern minds, “King.”  So sad. I mean, got dammit, you lost the war and the South ain’t rising again, let it go already!
Last week, Wednesday to be exact, I attended a National Library Week celebration at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina.  Yeah, I didn’t know where it was either.  I would recommend you not drive there at night.  Saw a few “confederate flags” and still asking myself about them. I learned that Voorhees is a Historical Black College started in 1987.  

The celebration was held in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center.  Many local authors and writers were also in attendance to sell and autograph their works.

I brought a book by Nadine Johnson, picture above. Her children’s books, Last Night I Dreamt series of “Was a Doctor”, “I was a Teacher” and “I was a Musician.”  I brought the “I was a teacher.  Beautifully illustrated and colorful, just the way kids like their books.  Please check her out on the Black Author Showcase blog -  These books are so multicolored and understandable for a parent to read to their child.  You know how I feel about reading to children.  Passionate!!!  
Got two more children’s books.  “Aloma and the Red Suitcase” by Sonja T.  
Another book I brought, “Life Experiences” by Dr. Maurice Lee.  A nice young man who, with a few other people, thought I was par to the media.  Did feel proud or what?  I did.  He invited me to the “Balling for a Cause” basketball tournament in Columbia, SC.  Told me there was going to be lots of celebrates, but the names I see on the flyer, Trina Braxton, Key Swac 3000, and Kenya Moore, are not too familiar to me, but I’m sure to many others.  Nice looking guy too!
The Healing Force, African storytellers/drummers, performed songs and their story presentation was very comforting and exciting.  Their outfits were beautifully made and colorful too.  The group also sold handmade weaving baskets.  I was a bit disappointed when I first walked in because when I arrived at 11:30, it started at 9:30; the room was filled with about 15 people, not including the authors and The Healing Force.  Empty.  Déjà vu when I went to see Carl Weber in Columbia.  Where was the community?  I know it’s a small town, but I also know there must be enough blacks to support the 10 authors/writers I saw.  Too disappointing, just too disappointing.  I was aware that some of the students were in class, but again; what about the community?  I figure, “oh, my, I’m going to run into a crowd since I’m late”, but no.  This meant that the authors there did not sell as much as I wish they could have.  Of course, when Mr. Hill Harper showed up, the room filled.  Not enough numbers to me; mostly students and administrators.  I was praying and hoping enough would come and hear him and buy his books at least. 

Mr. Harper did a great job interacting with the kids using the analogy of an architect in building a base (family), a frame (a good support of friends and family without drama) and achieving your dreams.  It’s easier said than done.  He asked the students many questions and had good interactions.  He discussed the movies and TV shows he has been in and if I remember correctly, he is still playing in CSI New York. He met our President while in Harvard and they did become, as the media has stated many times before, great friends.  He just looked so damn smart and handsome.  I sat in the front row next to some of the teachers and administrators at the school and really enjoyed his talk.  As a young African American male, he has a lot to offer and I just hope and pray that some of what he said really sinks in.  It was funny earlier when the announcer introduced him, with clips of his TV and movie appearances, and he walked in with all black on from his shoes to his sweater, I heard from behind me, “Oh, he’s light skinned.”  It’s still so prevalent that the younger generation or maybe the older generation instilling that mentality into their kids; still thinks it’s better to be “white – light skinned” than “darker.”  I’m light skinned, what of it!!!  I’m tired of being called, “redbone” “giraffe” “brown paper bag baby.”  Sorry to say, it still seems to control who we like, dislike, love or hate.  Stupid, just completely stupid.  But, Hill Harper did look good.  
Hill Harper Books
Got to get one in for Black History Year