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Black History Month Book Fair Comes To Yonkers

The first evening of the Book Fair opened with a jazz and blues reception featuring the music of Yonkers musical icons W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues" and Ella Fitzgerald, "the First Lady of Song."
The first evening of the Book Fair opened with a jazz and blues reception featuring the music of Yonkers musical icons W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues" and Ella Fitzgerald, "the First Lady of Song." Photo Credit: Photograph by William P. Gottlieb (Wikipedia)

YONKERS, N.Y. --  The Black History Month Book Fair opened on Thursday at SUNY Purchase College Center for Community and Culture, "PC4," at 16 Warburton Avenue in the Yonkers Downtown Waterfront Arts District.

The two-day event continues at PC4 on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For the two days of the Book Fair, PC4 is converted into a pop-up bookstore and library. The lofty expanse of the exhibition space creates the setting of an urban bookstore experience, inviting visitors to read, browse, meet authors and presenters, have their books signed by authors, participate in book discussions and learn about new and upcoming publications, according to a release.

The first evening of the book fair opened with a jazz and blues reception featuring the music of Yonkers musical icons W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues" and Ella Fitzgerald, "the First Lady of Song."

The presentation of the Fitzgerald Handy award for Leadership in arts was presented to Congressman Eliot Engel for his support of the arts.

The second day of the Book Fair will open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. The daylong event will welcome, among others, Professor Komozi Woodard, Ph.D. of Sarah Lawrence College, who will discuss his new book, "Black Power 50," and Professor Frederick Douglass Opie, Ph.D., who will talk about his  book, "Southern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding the Revolution."

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet authors, artists, community activists, researchers, university and college professors, all of whom will be presenting, discussing and taking questions about their new and upcoming work and books.

Joining the local presenters and authors will be authors and presenters from West Africa, the Caribbean and The Netherlands sharing their recent publications and research.

The acclaimed PBS documentary  "Africans in America" will be screened.

Additionally, there will be books for children, jazz and blues listening hot spots in the bookstore, an interactive arts installation: "Readers Write.. What have you read recently that changed your thinking?"

Exhibited on colorful paper flags, the completed installation offers a creative snapshot of titles of books that readers found transformative.

On either side of PC4, there are Mexican and Japanese restaurants, across the street, a Cuban Restaurant, a craft brewery, an old-school NYC-style diner, bars, pizzerias, beer, burger, music bars, and high-end eateries, Dolphins, XOXO and Zuppa's.

The book fair is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be available. For more information, contact tblackhistorymonthbookfair@gmail.com.

The Black History Month Book Fair is made possible with the generous support from Public Space Arts patrons, SUNY Purchase College, Westchester Library System, Yonkers Public Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. and of course, readers.

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