Sunday, May 22, 2022

Leimert Park Village Book Fair Celebrates 14th Year – Areva Martin is Ambassador

boook5*The Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) is excited to announce civil rights attorney and media personality Areva Martin as its 2021 book fair ambassador. Martin is the author of Awakening: Ladies, Leadership, and Lies We’ve Been Told.

In her book, Martin continues to explore societal norms for gender roles within America’s average working environment. She intends for this book to be the average working woman’s manual to breaking outdated generational gender roles.

With a new weekend show on Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Talk 1580, called “Areva Martin Out Loud,” Martin continues to be one of the nation’s leading voices in media, covering topics such as law, race, politics, pop culture, celebrity and breaking news! She has a unique way of blending her outstanding legal expertise with her passion for promoting inclusion, diversity and equality within ALL environments!

“We are thrilled to have Areva as this year’s Leimert Park Village Book Fair ambassador,” said Cynthia Exum, founder and executive producer of the LPVBF.

“Areva’s work in the community is commendable, and she is a wonderful role model who leads by example! Exum added, “We also consider Areva one of our very own because she participated in the inaugural Leimert Park Village Book Fair as a first-time, self-published author. She is an amazing and gifted individual, and we are beyond delighted to welcome her back as our 2021 Book Fair Ambassador! “

For the month of October, the 14th anniversary of Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) will celebrate National Book Month with a special virtual event, featuring one of America’s most acclaimed poets Nikki Giovanni on Saturday, October 16, 2021, in Los Angeles.

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Areva Martin

Hosted by Jasmine Sanders, co-host of the nationally syndicated “DL Hughley Radio Show,” the virtual book fair will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The family-oriented event is based in the heart of Leimert Park, which is considered the center of the African American arts/intellectual scene in LA. For the virtual broadcast, book lovers will need to register for the online experience. For more information, visit

Voted One of LA’s Five Best Annual Book Festivals,” the LPVBF has become a much-anticipated cultural tradition in the African American community. It provides authors an opportunity to promote their newest work as well as meet some of their fans up close and personal.

Best Sellers, Crowd Pleasers & Fan Favorites

The virtual event includes a lineup of New York Times best-selling authors, “Good Morning America” book club picks, crowd pleasers, and fan favorites. With a virtual event, the Leimert Park Village Book Fair is creating a literary broadcast experience, where through technology, fans can engage with their favorite authors with a touch of a button.

Along with Martin, Jason Mott, a finalist for the National Book Awards, will talk about his buzz-worthy, New York Times Best Seller, Hell of a Book, which has made many lists and book club picks, including “Good Morning,” USA Today and Entertainment Weekly – just to name a few.

Another crowd-pleaser includes Victoria Christopher Murray, author of the novel The Personal Librarian, co-written by Marie Benedict, an instant New York Times bestseller and “Good Morning America” Book Club Pick.

It’s a remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation.

Plus, Rob Kenner reflects on his work, The Marathon Don’t Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle, the first in-depth biography of Nipsey Hussle, the hip-hop self-made mogul, artist, and activist whose transformative legacy inspired a generation with his motivational lyrics and visionary business savvy. For the love of Nipsey, The Marathon Don’t Stop, also hit the New York Times Best Sellers List.

As for fan favorites, celebrity author Yvonne Orji, a stand-up comic and actress, best known as Issa Rae’s BFF on the HBO series, “Insecure” shares the secret to living the life of your dreams in her new book, Bamboozled by Jesus.

And Tyler Merritt shares his experiences as a 6’2″ dreadlocked Black man just trying to live his best life, some of those experiences are painful, some hysterical but all are real and relatable in his book, I Take My Coffee Black. Interestingly, Merritt’s viral video “Before You Call the Cops” has been viewed by 59 million people worldwide.

Trisha R. Thomas gives viewers a reading from her latest offering, What Passes as Love, a story about a young woman paying a devastating price for freedom in this heartrending and breathtaking novel of the nineteenth-century South. Thomas is also the bestselling author of Nappily Ever After, which has been adapted into a popular Netflix film.

Finally, talk radio host Dominique Baraka DiPrima of KBLA Talk 1580 offers a special reading from the work of her parents – that is, the late Beat poet/icon Diane di Prima; and acclaimed poet Amiri Baraka, considered the Father of the Black Arts Movement. DiPrima’s mother was the Poet Laureate of San Francisco, and her father was the Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

In the “Kids Corner, “LPVBF takes its show on the global road! This year’s children’s program, hosted by Chudney Ross, will showcase two authors from Lantana Publishing, a London-based publishing company, dedicated to publishing children’s books by authors and illustrators from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Ross is the creator of Books and Cookies, a popular children’s bookstore and mobile literacy enrichment program. A fun-filled and engaging lineup is in store , featuring readings by Krina Patel-Sage, author of My Mindful a to Zen and Michael Catchpool, author of Super Joe Does Not do Cuddles, as well as storytelling by librarian Binnie Tate Wilkin and a musical performance of “Ice Cream Songs” by Lionel Jean Baptiste!

Our children’s virtual program will end with special children’s author presentation with Don Tate, the award-winning illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children brings the reading of Pigskins to Paintbrushed: The Story of football-playing Artist Ernie Barnes to life with illustrations from his computer.

Barnes is so well-known as an artist that one of his paintings was featured in the opening credits of the TV show “Good Times,” and he was commissioned to create official posters for the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics.

The Leimert Park Village Book Fair  Partners with the Book Faires

And finally, unleashing the magic of fairies, LPVBF is excited to announce a partnership with The Book Fairies, an organization, based in London, that enlists its “fairies” of volunteers to hide 100 books for a treasure hunt of the book fair’s participating authors throughout Los Angeles City and London. For more information about The Book Fairies, visit

For more about the Leimert Park Village Book Fair and to register to attend the virtual event, please visit

About the Leimert Park Village Book Fair 
The LPVBF is produced by Exum and Associates in collaboration with the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall; the office of City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8); the office of City Councilman Curren Price Jr. (District 9); and the office of City Councilman Mark Ridley Thomas (District 10);

along with corporate and media partners, including Lowe’s; The Gas Company – Sempra Energy; Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA); Loyola Marymount University; the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation; Books and Cookies; Lantana Publishing; Book Fairies – London Corp.; LA Grammy Museum; Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.

Philanthropists and art historians Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey, leading the fundraising efforts and increasing the book fair’s brand awareness in 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. Joining the Kinsey’s this year is

Cynthia Exum, an alumnus of the prestigious California State Senate Fellows program, holds a master’s degree from UCLA’s School of Urban Planning and Public Policy. Exum is also the co-author of “Images of America: Leimert Park,” with Maty Guiza-Leimert — the wife of Walter H. Leimert, whose grandfather developed the area in 1927.

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. For more information, visit

With the backing of partners and supporters, Exum built a high-quality cultural event, and the people came!

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“Voted One of LA’s Five Best Annual Book Festivals”

LA’s 5 Best Annual Book Festivals

Source | Wyllisa R. Bennett | [email protected]




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