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Literary Living Video 2006 African American Pavilion at BEA


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This video shows highlights of the African American Pavilion at Book Expo America from 2006.  BEA is the country's largest trade show for the publishing industry.  The African American Pavilion is no longer part of Book Expo.  



I exhibited in the Pavilion in 2006.  Heather Covington wrote quite a bit about the Pavilion that year.


You will see coverage of Black Issue Book Review Magazine, where Ken Smikle, then the new owner, announced a merger with Target Market News.  Black Issues Book Review stopped publishing the following year.


Faye Childs, CEO of BlackBoard Multi Media Entertainment, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the African American Pavilion. In 1991, Childs created a list of top best selling books by African American authors called the Blackboard Bestsellers. This is the list that Essence picked up, then discontinued.  Our, one-year-old Power List is an effort to keep a national bestsellers list going.   Childs also announced the publication of the BlackBoard National Provider (The BNP), the first African American daily newspaper.  I have no clue if any issues were ever published beyond what was show that day.


Wendy Williams blew up.  Terrie Williams expanded on her efforts to raise awareness of mental illness in the Black community.  Cheryl and Wade Hudson continue to promote children's literature and literacy, at this point, for over 25 years.  The Hudsons really deserve more recognition for their work, particularly since the number of children's books by and about people of color, published in the U.S., has been on the decline for the last few years.


George Fraser continues to fight for Black empowerment.  Relentless Aaron, was busy setting the standard for slinging books back then. I actually owe the Brother a call.  Max Rodriguez still runs the Harlem Book Fair, 2014 marking its 16th year.  Like everything else, it has changed too.


I was still growing AALBC.com back in 2006 it was several years before the site's peak (in terms of traffic).  I still had a full time job back then--please don't ask me how I did it.  I think I just slept a lot less.  I also had a lot more money back then too, which of course help.  It was in many ways an easier and more exciting time for the Black book world.  A lot has changed since those 8 years.  Today I more time trying to figure out how to get out from under using social media and exploit our own resources, than I do creating content.  I won't bore you with another Google/Facebook rant :)


While today's environment is much more challenging, there are many more potential and new opportunities.


Troy Johnson (Founder, AALBC.com), Ken Smikle (Publisher, BIBR), William E. Cox (Founder and Publisher Emeritus, BIBR), Angela P. Dodson (Executive Editor, BIBR), Tony Rose (CEO, Amber Books), Wade Hudson (President Just Us Books), Clarence V. Reynolds (Managing Editor, BIBR)


The following was written by Tony Rose co-founder of The African American Pavilion at BookExpo in March of 2014:



The African American Pavilion at BookExpo America was founded in 2004 by Tony Rose, Publisher/CEO, Amber Communications Group, Inc.; Niani Colom, Associate Publisher, Genesis Press; and Adrienne Ingrum, Associate Publisher of Black Issues Book Review.

THE MISSION STATEMENT: African American Publishers and Writers bring African American stories to our community and the world. despite obstacles and resistance, our publishing partnerships with authors and book retailers set African American Culture at the forefront of the book publishing industry.

The exhibit spaces will showcase African American books, authors, products, and publishers. There will be great opportunities to learn, share, educate, sell and network making African American books a vital, visable, part of the over 115 + years of the BookExpo America/American Booksellers Association.

BEA is a showcase for the book publishing industry. As one of the largest book trade exhibits in the world, BEA provides Independent African American book publishers, self-publishers, authors, black interest imprints at major publishing houses, distributors, literary agents, publicists, librarians and bookstore owners with exposure to more then tens of thousands of book buyers and book sellers from across the globe.

Prior to the existence of the African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, almost every genre of books, except those by African Americans had provided a unified exhibit presence at the BEA, we decided to fill that void.

The first ever African American Pavilion at BookExpo America, began in 2004 as a coordinated effort by Amber Communications Group, Inc., Genesis Press and Black Issues Book Review. The mission was to make the leading industry event for book publishers a more cost effective and efficient way to present and sell African American titles. The pavilion has had many success stories provided through licensing, sales, distribution and business opportunities.

A three booth pavilion quickly became a consorted effort of hundreds of exhibitors, over the years, to showcase the African American culture of book publishing. Our companies are independently owned and operated. We generate millions of dollars in book sales and fuel one of the fastest growing categories in the book publishing world

The African American Pavilion stands for more than just a united face of exhibitors, it is the voice and power of African American Book Publishing.

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