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The African Achievement Awards is produced by the African Times Newspaper.

. . . I met up with ADF President Easywell–Agrippa Ezozo! What

a contrast Easy in a shark skin suit and I dressed African from head to toe!



Books by Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd

My Deepest Affections Are Yours / Journey to the Motherland  / History To Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry / Loving Black Women

History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry

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Report on Leimart Park Village Book Fair

By Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd


Part 1—The 16th Annual African Achievement Awards

My trip to the 4th Annual Leimart Park Village Book Fair (May 30th & 31st  2008) began when I  was dropped off by one of my brothers at the terminal of the Oakland Airport

As I walked speedily to my boarding gate, the melodic walk of a sister hypnotized me.  So after I got out of the Trans, I caught up with the sister, greeted her and she went her way and I mine.  I arrived at my gate!  Even though I got into a Trans, I meant no disrespect but temporarily I recovered and dealt with a sister’s mind and we exchanged smiles as well as greetings. Then I started thinking about a sister’s hips!

As I flew down I read the first thirty five pages of the Bandana Republic edited by Louis Reyes Rivera.  This book was released and celebrated in New York City (6 June 2008).  Jim Brown writes a wide-ranging introduction that informs the readers that each reader may get differing messages from reading this dialog between these New York City and other inner city current and former gang members!

The  Spirit of Africa

I am reading this book to understand my people even better! I always want to understand why we do what we do so I can help us figure out how we can make our lives better!

As soon as I got in Los Angeles, and checked into my hotel, I dressed up and headed for Hollywood by taxi from my hotel near LAX!

Going from the airport you see Black faces and Brown faces but as you move to the north to Hollywood, you see more white faces.  When you leave JFK Airport, you drive up north towards Harlem, you first see white and up in Harlem Black then brown. 

Once in Hollywood, I arrived to the hotel in an African suit for the African Day Celebration—The 16th Annual African Achievement Awards. The African Achievement Awards is produced by the African Times Newspaper and supported by the L. A. based African Diaspora Foundation! I met up with ADF President Easywell–Agrippa Ezozo! What a contrast Easy in a shark skin suit and I dressed African from head to toe!

Once I was checked in by one of twelve African sisters, I sought out and found ADF President Easywell–Agrippa Ezozo! and found him. We shook hands the way real—the way you do when you have not seen a good friend for a long time! I had an African outfit and Easy as we call him in a sharp sharkskin type suit.

After some conversation and greeting he was off to do things.  I found my table and saw many Africans and African-American brothers and sisters.  A family greeted and shared my table with several other Africans and a white woman across the way! And there was a woman from Ibo land in Nigeria, Esther Umeadi from Carson, California who sat at my table.

Mr. C. Charles Aniyam, Publisher of the Los Angeles-based  African Times and several others presented the awards to the awardees!  The awards were  presented after the awardees made celebratory remarks about Africa, the African Union, and African people all over the world.

Memorable remarks were spoken by Award winner by our African sister Jean Ndhlovu, Consul General for the (Los Angeles)-South African Consulate.  The representative of the President of Ethiopia also celebrated the President of his country, the AU, which is currently based in Addis Abba, capital of Ethiopia, and Africans—that includes us!

After dinner and great conversation at table #6, I stood up and took pictures of the event as a whole and several specific pictures of other attendees. Then there was some dancing by many of the young sisters! I danced and took pictures of some fine African sisters including an African-American sister! Can you tell who is who? No!

These pictures of intelligent beautiful young sisters show the Beauty of our Sisters! This was a totally positive intelligent and beautiful event and program just like these intelligent beautiful sisters!

(Many Beautiful Sisters at Awards Dinner)

This African-American brother pictured won  the event’s raffle ticket to any African country through an arrangement with Ethiopian Airlines. (See above the photo of I got by making a JPEG out of the free T Shirt I found at my table!) And here is the winner and what one must wonder is what country will this gospel singer choose to travel to of the 53 African countries! The winner is Los Angeles-based Agape International Choir’s Tim Mc Afee-Lewis.He can celebrate his new “CD Tim McAfee-Lewis Live” and his free trip to any African Country!

Congratulations Tim McAfee-Lewis—Everything is all right!

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Listen live and/or call in Wednesday 8 PM to 9 PM Pacific Standard TimeArea Code--347-215-7831 or listen to this week's Segment of  Conversations of Africa at this link anytime including right now—1 hour

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Part  2—Village Book Fair & Art Gallery

Saturday, I met up with Itibari, I gave him a printed copy of the "New Black Power: Why We African-Americans Should Love Each Other, Africa and African People All Over the World," one of two books I have completed lately. My other new book is “Long Distance Love Affair.”

Itibari—working through the Amen Ra Theological Seminary Press—published three of my previous books, including History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry!

My other latest book is called “Long Distance Love Affair” and I know it will cross over all boundaries of general readership and the publishing world.

Next, I took a taxi and arrived just after noon at  the Leimert Park Village Book Fair.  I looked for and found the intelligent and beautiful Cynthia Exum, Director of the Fair, located in the heart of Los Angeles.

The theater groups clustered.. I went around through the entrance and walked in and saw the Fair Information Booths and the Giant Author’s Tent down the way.

However, the most striking characteristic at the entrance of Leimert Park was forty to fifty brothers beating the drums. They played in perfect harmony.  Playing drums together and doing other things together is better than beefing and blood letting and killing each other.

I saw him from a distance an Ikpo masquerader! I saw him lean down and wondered how I could see an Ikpo in Leimert Park! I took several pictures even this one with the Ikpo. He was a brother from Brooklyn, living in Los Angeles. He told me he has walked on stilts for seven years. I had not seen an Ikpo since I left Nigeria except once or twice on BETJ on Saturdays! Every one in Africa, please, know we African-Americans have Ikpo in America.

So after my second or third time, I finally made it up to the stage.  I got up there on that stage for nearly seven minutes and introduced my books and recited  three of my favorite pieces “Black Women Dear, Relationships” and “The Beauty of a Sister.” You can hear me at Leimert Park by clicking on this link:

I sold more copies of Journey to The Motherland From San Francisco to Benin City than Loving Black Women, but both were shown a lot of interest.

I can’t wait until my two new books “Long Distance Love Affair.”  and  "New Black Power: Why We African-Americans Should Love Each Other, Africa and African People All Over the World,"  are published.

So there I sat and as I looked at brothers and sisters go by speaking to some and then comes this sister and I mean fine sister and I noticed a big microphone in her hand. I stood up and said sister come here and interview me! The sister followed by a cameraman did a half spin around toward me enough to glance in my direction and continued her footsteps toward another author! Her name is Bernadette but we remember her as Thelma in Good Times!  The fine sister television personality is forgiven but maybe I will see her at the Los Angeles Black Book Expo, Saturday June 13th and 14th TH, 2008! 

I was star struck at seeing Thelma; from Good Time—Her real name is Bernadette!

Thelma is an author and really fine and intelligent!

Finally, I was on the way out of Leimert Park Village to catch a ride downtown when I walked into Sika’s and bought a couple of African outfits and wore one outfit out of the store changing from my South African Mandela made in South Africa to West African clothes.. I headed to the 626 Art Gallery!

I ask this brother where I would get a taxi easiest. The unified drums of Leimert Park sounded!  The brother happened to be from the African Spiritual Center of Rev. Merikara.  He then reintroduced me to The African Spiritual Center Senior Queen Mother! We exchanged greetings and I said to her please say hello to Rev. Merikara!

The Leimert Park Village African drums played in perfect harmony! The brother and I had spoken earlier with a lot of mutual respect!  I said again make sure you say hello to Rev. Merikara! Then I said please tell me where I can get a taxi the fastest to head for the 626 Art Gallery! Itibari called but he was far away! I all of a sudden wanted to be at the 626 Gallery earlier! He said, I will drop you at the 626 Art Gallery.

All the way there we spoke about my book “History to Destiny Through Afrocentric Poetry.” New Orleans was close to his heart. His youngsters and we discussed the challenges to being a Black Man in America.

We arrived at the 626 Art Gallery. What a beautiful place in downtown Los Angeles!  The walls are full of the best African and African-American art. Plush seats, great, beautiful and intelligent sisters and intelligent Black brothers were all over the place.  Some were rotating in and out of a party and a restaurant next door.

After everyone on the program arrived at the right time the event jumped off with honors for LABBX Founder Emeritus Itibari M. Zulu as well as awards for Tony Rose and Adrienne Ingrum.

Left to right Charles Chatmon, Adrienne, Ukali, Tony Rose and Itibari)

Charles Chatmon presented awards to Tony Rose and Adrienne Ingrum to honor the two of them for building the African-American Pavilion in the Book Expo of America from a dream to more than 90 writers/authors. Then with five or six cameras rolling, “He Said She said” started when Charles gave the word.  Charles is also the current Executive Director of the Los Angeles a Poet of great talent himself.

The Moderator, Nakisha Crawford and author of an upcoming book “Hurt So Good,” about African-American male and female relationships” ask Pearl Jr. and me specific related and unrelated theme questions.

(Moderator of the He Said Black Relations Forum NaKisha)

It was all very natural, factual, and relevant healthy dialogs from the Black man and woman dialog. 

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The 4th Annual Los Angeles Black Book Expo

Saturday, June 14, 2008 from 10:00am to 8:00pm

Report By Larry Ukali Johnson-Redd


My Second Trip to Los Angeles, CA

I attended the lightly attended First Annual June 2004 and heavily attended Second LABBX June 2005. In 2006, there was no LABBX; however, the 2007 attendance was moderate; however, this 2008 LABBX had a light to moderate turn out. So many missed out on a chance to meet and exchange views with authors and activists from all over California and the United States of America!

I hope that more brothers and sisters from around the country and inside of Los Angeles will more fully support the 5th Annual Los Angeles Black Book Expo!  I hope to see you there next time.

At the Play Boy Jazz Festival, the only Play Boy Bunny I saw was the corporate emblem.  I walked up to the X section and felt no shame at all as I devoured half of a chicken, some mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes with garlic. The walk from a Hollywood Blvd restaurant, up to the Hollywood Bowl—eight long uphill blocks in the Hollywood sun and up the outdoor theater to the highest section provided plenty of exercise.I arrived with Yaya Fanusie; so I interviewed Yaya who now lives in Maryland but used to live in Oakland.  Yaya and I split up because of the ticket I bought was at the top of the outdoor amphitheater, singer Ryan Shaw performed “Let it Be” as I finished off my food and began to listen to the music.  I was inside of the Hollywood Bowl.

 (Ukali and Terry Moore at the 4TH Annual LA Black Book Expo)


As I looked out over the audience, I could see jazz lovers all types consuming food and beverages and listening to some great old school music.  Most of the people I saw were a part of the reading community who could have supported the 4th Annual Los Angeles Black Book Expo.

I looked to my left and I looked to my right and all I could see was folks, enjoying the music, wine, food, and conversations! More folks were coming and going. Ryan Shaw and his group were playing “Try A Little Tenderness” by the late great Otis Redding! And it was done in an excellent manner!

I was hooked up with Yaya; we walked around speaking to people at random while listening to the Afrocentric vibes! Next came an Afrocentric African-American/African group that included some Native African sister singers who sang in their African language to the beat of African drums and melodic music of Dee Dee Bridgewater: Red Earth, A Malian Journey.

They left with their version of a Wayne Shorter original song; renamed “Long Time Ago” with all of the roots and reality an Afrocentric mind could conger up.  Then came the African or Puerto Ricans singing Lodi Ladi Ladio as they completed an Afrocentric Style tune!  One of the musicians had long African dread locks. but I am sure others too had some African blood in their veins. The musicians look like ants because you are a long ways away in the X section but you have this shaded area and the large   screens that blew up a nice visual of the musicians you hear so clearly!  (The score is 42 to 31 Lakers. Laker fans focusing on the game and the music as the sun set in Hollywood)

The name of their group is Plena Libre. (There is a serious undertone in Los Angeles  There are Lakers loyalists looking at a portable television; following the Championship Series hoping the win as the Afro Latin Jazz beats and music continues. The score is 59 to 57 Lakers) Plena Libre finishes up.

 And, then the stage turns around and up pops an African-American soul group playing some real smooth Blues sons.  No down time and so it goes on.

Keb Mo  as the next band was called brought the type old school blues with a full band including organ at a perfect pitch ‘give me what you got” they sang!  (Lakers up by 7!) 

Just as I was making some new friends here comes Yaya saying we should go now to avoid the big crowd. We left.

posted 13 July 2008

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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