BOOK LIKE IS A PROVEN BROWARD COUNTY CULTURAL DESTINATIONS
On the Scene with Crystal Chanel:
BOOK LIFE IS A PROVEN BROWARD COUNTY CULTURAL DESTINATIONS
Congratulations are in order once again as The African American Research Library and Cultural Center, led by book festival chairman/librarian Tray Fitzpatrick, hosted its annual two -day book festival. Friday night, day one of the two-day event featured tastings and complimentary cocktails.
The exclusive evening was rightfully dubbed as a premier literary and culinary experience. Our collective energies vibrated high as book lovers waltzed from station to station at South Florida’s seventh annual book festival, Book Life, entitled Eat. Drink. Read. Authors, both nationally and locally known, chatted with guests, signed books and took pictures.
Local Poet, Katrina Jo Sapp, also known as Poetiss, said she attends the library’s book fest annually.
Meanwhile, bartenders served choices of red or white Barefoot wine, while spirits’ sponsor Victor George Vodka ensured an endless supply of cocktails. Chatter and giggles echoed off the library walls as folks strolled from station to station admiring the rich historical exhibits throughout the building.
Food stations prepared by Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale students, under the guidance of Chef Kane, even had vegan options. It was evident that this year’s book fest was well thought out and designed to attract a diverse audience.
In speaking to Fitzpatrick, I discovered his passion for literacy expanded to every demographic in our community disregarding differences. Fitzpatrick envisioned “an event not just for Blacks but all races.” He purposely featured relatable authors allowing them to cultivate an experience for the hundreds of guests that attended the two-day book fest. “We are here to serve the entire community and provide experiences that strengthened who we are. It is my belief that success is about finding and including the right people.” Authors like Ash Cash, a financial guru; Ann Marie Sorrell, a dating expert; Celebrity Chef Kevin Belton; and Martin Amado, a design extraordinaire, all provided a well-rounded literary experience.
However, it was comedian, actor and radio personality Rickey Smiley who took center stage Friday night and stole our hearts. His book entitled Stand by Your Truth: And Then Run for Your Life allows him to deliver necessary truths with wit and satire. Smiley answered questions about his upbringing, his career accomplishments and his passion for cooking. Of course, we laughed out loud, finding so many relatable parallels in his authenticity. Then he humbly concluded, “I prefer balance over fame, and I can do without the celebrity. I just really like hearing people say I have changed their lives… that I have really blessed them with something I said on radio. That is what I love the most.”
The library’s seventh annual book festival used books and authors to showcase every aspect of our cultural inclusive of our food, our music and our voice. It was forever being one of Broward County’s do not miss cultural destination.
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