Broward County's African-American Research Library and Cultural Center to Host South Florida Book Festival
- Two-day event includes author appearances, workshops and more -

Chef/author Sunny Anderson

Chef/Author Sunny Anderson

Congressman James E. Clayburn

Congressman James E. Clyburn

DATE: July 17, 2014
Libraries Division
PHONE: 954-357-6190

EVENT UPDATE: Due to popular demand there will be a second workshop on “How to Take Control of Your Money” offered by financial expert Kembala Evans at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, immediately following her 2 p.m. workshop. Also: Children are welcome to participate in crafts and activities at the Kid Zone, open all day Saturday.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla.The South Florida Book Festival is returning to the
African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) on July 25 and 26, 2014, with an even greater variety of authors and events. Leading off as keynote speaker is Congressman James E. Clyburn, a risk taker who once organized Civil Rights sit-ins, walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was elected to Congress in 1992 where he has worked closely with Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. His longtime friend Congressman Alcee L. Hastings is expected to join Clyburn on the stage.

The two-day festival will feature a trio of bestselling writers: Eric Jerome Dickey, Donna Hill and Pamela Samuels Young. Also featured will be Dr. Carl Hart, a neuroscientist and frequent national guest on PBS, CNBC, and Fox News. Two workshops will conducted by Chicago-based financial expert Kembala Evans. There will be a fun forum on natural hair care and a sampling of Caribbean cooking with three local chefs. Several prominent women writers of Haitian descent (Mahalia Solages, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel and M.J. Fievre) will share their literary vision.

Moderating the author events is S. James Guitard, a national bestselling author of Chocolate Thoughts, Mocha Love, Blessed Assurance, Delilah's Revenge and A Hot Mess. A native of New York, Guitard now resides in the Washington, DC, area. He was a featured writer at last year’s book festival.

This festival is sponsored by the Friends of African-American Research Library and Cultural Center with assistance from Broward Public Library Foundation, Whole Foods Market, Bright Star Credit Union, Literally Speaking, Bank of America and National Sales Network.


The fun begins 6 p.m. on Friday, July 25, with “An Evening with the Stars.” Tickets for this event are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and include one autographed book from a featured author. Enjoy an evening of light jazz with food and wine courtesy of Whole Foods Market.

There will be a special appearance THIS EVENING ONLY by the host of the Food Network’s “Cooking for Real” and “The Kitchen” TV shows, Sunny Anderson. This is a glamorous event, so dress to impress. To purchase tickets go to


Bring the whole family to a free event on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will be an entire day of author events and literary ambiance.

At 10 a.m., Congressman James E. Clyburn will deliver the keynote presentation. President Obama said Clyburn is, "One of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens." Congressman Clyburn is Assistant Democratic Leader in the 112th Congress, the number three Democrat in the House of Representatives and one of the Democratic Caucus' primary liaisons to the White House. The Congressman will attend on Saturday only.

“Lies, Lust, Sin & Mayhem” is scheduled for 12 noon, featuring a panel of national bestselling authors: Eric Jerome Dickey, Donna Hill and Pamela Samuels Young.
  • Eric Jerome Dickey is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels, as well as a six-issue miniseries of graphic novels featuring Storm (X-Men) and the Black Panther.
  • Donna Hill has more than 70 titles in print; three of them were adapted for television. She is an Adjunct Professor of English at Medgar Evers College, Essex County College and the College of New Rochelle. 
  • Pamela Samuels Young is both an attorney and award-winning author. Her book, Anybody’s Daughter, won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in a Fiction category. She is also a natural hair enthusiast and the author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.

At 1 p.m., neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart will take the stage. Hart is the author of High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery that Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society and a frequent guest on PBS, CNBC, and Fox News. He is an associate professor of clinical neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is also a research scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Hart is a native of Miami.

At 2 p.m., come to a Natural Hair Care Forum featuring author Pamela Samuels Young, author of Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide; and local stylists Simone Hylton of Natural TrendSetters; Fayola Nicaisse of Ebene Naturals; and Forrest Moore and Terrance Rivers of Black Star Unisex Salon.

Scheduled for two sessions - at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. - is financial expert and coach Kembala Evans. Her workshops will show attendees “how to take control of your money, how to become debt free and build savings, and how to get the credit you deserve.” Evans is the founder of KP Evans Financial, a firm focused on empowering people to take control of their financial futures. She is a Money Smart Week® partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and she serves on the Illinois Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors.  

A Caribbean Spice workshop will  be offered at 3 p.m. featuring cookbook author and caterer Dorette Darby and Chef David Stample who will share samples of, and discuss, Caribbean-style cooking.

Bringing the event to a graceful close from 4 to 5 p.m. will be three talented women writers of Haitian descent. Mahalia Solages is the author of two picture books and also writes women's fiction. Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel writes short stories and children’s books. M.J. Fievre is a poet and story writer who has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines. She edited the Haiti anthology, So Spoke the Earth.

And that’s the line-up for the Saturday activities, a day filled with variety and verve. Sign up now to ensure your seat for the various events; go to The weekend event promises to be exciting and offers a wide variety of subjects from dynamic authors. Save the date.

For high-resolution images and author photos, please contact Steve Vinik,, 954-357-6190.

The award-winning
Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 39 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use, and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of Broward County's diverse community. Broward County Libraries Division continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. In addition to our comprehensive Web site,, which provides information about library activities, links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, customers can visit BCL WoW - Broward County Library Without Walls – for free eBooks, music, audiobooks, apps, movies and more. Customers may also follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Broward County Historical Commission.



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