The 2012 Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF) celebrated its 6th Annual Leimert Park Book Fair in West Los Angeles, California, yesterday June 30. It was more than a book fair, but an amazing outlet for adults and children.
What was intriguing is how writers from different genre’s dealt with a multitude of areas including abuse in relationships. C.G. RAWLES author and illustrator of her book Same Difference—a charming book for young readers (4-8 year olds) that addresses the sensitive and sometime divisive issues of beauty and identity. It has a lyrical, upbeat air that begs to be read aloud and offers an engaging rhyme pattern for young children— read and entertained children with sounds of positive words and affirmation: A classic read for children who has faced bullying, mistreatment or just needs a dose of self confidence.
Then there was Dreamer in the Fields by John Hill, the sixth of ten children born to alcoholic parents, recounts the hardships of his life as a child migrant farm worker. He tells of the back-breaking task of picking fruit, vegetables, and cotton, under the harsh California sun; living in filthy migrant shacks; losing months of schooling each term; of parents who constantly drank up all the family’s earnings and engaged in violent fights; of a mother who tired of her husband’s abuse and abandoned the family.
Dreamer in the Fields reveals a despondent over the poor quality of his life, Hill, only 8, asks God to change his circumstances. A divine visitation does just that: his father is jailed, and he and his siblings become wards of Fresno County and are placed in what Hill regards as a wonderful foster home. Hill delights in the change. He revels in the normalcy of his new life away from the fields, finds comfort in the requirement to attend church and school, and flourishes educationally.
Executive Director / Founder Cynthia E. Exum also acknowledged the recent passing of Rodney King: “All of us at the Leimert Park Village Book Fair were deeply saddened when we heard the news of Rodney Kings passing,” said Leimert Park Village Book Fair Executive Director Cynthia E. Exum. “He was one of our featured authors and we were thrilled when he agreed to come back to the community that was most impacted by the civil unrest of ’92. And although Mr. King played an unwitting and unwilling role in a significant event in Los Angeles history, his passing during the year of the 20th Anniversary of the uprising brings even more significance to him and his story and his memoir, ‘The Riot within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.'”
To highlight an exceptional community event was Beauty-N-Black Wellness Tour sponsored by Black Beautyshop Health Foundation. Booths were lined up on Degnan Blvd. & Lemiert Park in front of Salons featuring information on Kheper Life Enrichment Institute who shared information about classes available for Domestic Abuse, Anger Management, Sexual Offenders, Alcohol and Drug counseling, Sassy Survivor with founder DeBorrah D. Carter an 11 year survivor of Breast Cancer shared with women and men the importance of exams and how to improve chances of survivorship along with other available resources, I know and Magic Johnson Foundation gave out information and on-the-spot testing for HIV, Champions for change—healthy eating for children and overcoming the epidemic of obesity and much more. Quite refreshing to see communities come together and not only talk about issues and problems but offer solutions and practical tips to eradicate some of the issues plaguing our communities.
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